NASA Photo Shows Spectacular, Swirling Storm Genevieve, As Tropical Depressions Headed for U.S.

NASA has released a spectacular image of Tropical Cyclone Genevieve swirling in the eastern Pacific off the coast of Baja California in Mexico, as two tropical depressions in the Atlantic head toward the U.S. coast.

The photo was taken by International Space Station (ISS) crew member Chris Cassidy at around 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 19, when Genevieve was still classified as a hurricane.

At the time, the center of the storm was located over 100 miles south of the southern tip of Baja California, although tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 140 miles, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The storm was moving toward the north-northwest at around 8 miles per hour, and featured maximum sustained wind speeds of close to 90 miles per hour. In the ISS image, the eye of the storm is clearly visible, surrounded by a ring of swirling clouds.

On Thursday, the storm lashed portions of Baja California with hurricane-force gusts and heavy rains before weakening to a tropical storm.

Genevieve caused power outages and knocked out phone service to large parts of the Los Cabos region, while also flooding streets and toppling trees.

On Tuesday, two individuals drowned in the area while swimming in heavy seas—a 15-year-old girl and an adult who tried to save her.

At one point on Tuesday Genevieve clocked wind speeds of around 130 miles per hour, making it a powerful Category 4 hurricane.

But now the tropical storm continued to weaken as it moved farther away from the southwestern Baja California coast, according to the NHC.

As of 3 a.m. MDT on Friday, the storm was located around 130 miles west-southwest of Cabo San Lázaro, Mexico, with maximum sustained wind speeds of about 50 miles per hour.

"Continued weakening is expected, and Genevieve is forecast to become a tropical depression by tonight, and degenerate into a remnant low by early Saturday morning," an NHC alert read.

"Tropical storm conditions will gradually diminish later this morning within the warning area across the southwestern Baja California peninsula."

Nevertheless, the NHC warned the large swells produced by Genevieve are spreading northward along the coast of the Baja California peninsula. These are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip conditions in the area.

On Thursday, two tropical depressions formed in the Atlantic Basin, and these could beat reach the U.S. coast as more powerful storms by early next week, according to NHC forecasts.

"We could actually have Laura and Marco sharing the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, and both making U.S. landfalls on Monday," Brian McNoldy, a meteorologist from the University of Miami, told USA Today.

At the time of writing, Tropical Depression 13 was located around 380 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands in the Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour, according to the NHC.

Tropical storm conditions are possible across the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the southeastern Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos islands over the course of Friday through Saturday night.

Hurricane Genevieve
International Space Station Astronaut Chris Cassidy snapped photos of the Eastern Pacific Ocean's Hurricane Genevieve on Aug 19, 2020 at 4 p.m. ET. NASA/ISS/Chris Cassidy

"Heavy rainfall is likely across this area beginning today and could cause mudslides and flash and urban flooding through Sunday," the NHC said.

The longer-range forecasts for the path and intensity of this tropical depression are still relatively uncertain, but it could bring storm surges, rainfall and stronger winds to parts of Hispaniola, Cuba, the Bahamas, and Florida this weekend and early next week.

Meanwhile, at the time of writing, the center of Tropical Depression 14 was hovering in the Caribbean Sea around 35 miles east of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the border between Nicaragua and Honduras in Central America.

The depression, which currently has maximum sustained wind speeds of around 35 miles per hour, is moving west-northwestward toward the coast and is expected to strengthen over the northwestern Caribbean through Saturday.

Over the course of Friday, the depression will lash the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras with tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rainfall, before reaching near or at hurricane strength late Saturday, when it will likely be located near Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.

Forecasts suggest the system will reach the coasts of Louisiana and Texas early next week, although the exact path and strength of the storm is still relatively uncertain.