Watch Hurricane Sandy from NASA's orbiting satellites

Space agency tracks 'Frankenstorm' as it heads toward U.S. east coast

The east coast of the United States is bracing for a hurricane so severe that it's being dubbed a "Frankenstorm" in many media outlets. Indeed, Hurricane Sandy -- "a late season Atlantic storm unlike anything seen in more than two decades," according to Reuters -- has killed more than 30 people in the Caribbean as it slowly moves north. Obviously you can keep track of the storm via television and Internet news outlets, but if you want information heavy on facts and light on sensationalism, NASA has a website devoted to tracking Sandy. The space agency's Earth-orbiting spacecraft are watching Hurricane Sandy as she churns at 6 mph toward the east coast, where it's expected to land late Monday or Tuesday. The site has the latest videos and pictures taken from space. Here's how NASA describes the storm:

Storm surge is expected to be big factor as Sandy approaches the Mid-Atlantic coast. Very rough surf and high and dangerous waves are expected to be coupled with the full moon. The National Hurricane Center noted that the combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters. The water could reach the following depths above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide. Some storm surge forecasts include: 5 to 8 feet in the hurricane warning area in the Bahamas and one to three feet along the Florida coast in the warning areas on Oct. 26.

As of this writing, the hurricane has passed through the Bahamas, but there are no details yet about damage or fatalities. Here's a link to a video of Sandy taken Friday from the International Space Station. You also can watch the video below, depending on whether it shows up. (I see it using Firefox, but not Chrome.) Now read this:

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