06/09/2017 12:57 PM AEST

Stunning Videos Capture The Raw Fury Of Hurricane Irma From Space

Hurricane Irma was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane on Tuesday with winds of up to 185 mph, some of the strongest winds ever seen in an Atlantic storm. 

Satellite footage shared by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the raw power of the storm as it barrels toward the Caribbean and Florida:

Irma is expected to hit the Leeward Islands in the West Indies on Tuesday evening and into Wednesday morning, then may strike the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. 

Category 5 is the most powerful storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, threatening “catastrophic damage.” The last hurricane to hit the United States while still a Category 5 storm was Andrew in 1992. 

Photo gallery Preparations For Hurricane Irma See Gallery