Images of monster Category 5 hurricanes from space are hard to stop staring at. They unmask the structure of one of nature's most powerful forces in vivid and striking detail.

The satellite views of Category 5 Hurricane Maria are no exception, coming just two weeks after we gazed at the mind-blowing pictures of Hurricane Irma.

While meteorologists and weather enthusiasts marvel at these images, there have been so many that a numbing effect is setting in.

"Never seen so many jaw-dropping satellite loops in my life," tweeted Eric Blake, a forecaster at the National Hurricane Center. "The last month has just been too much."


It can be sobering to watch these images knowing the storms cause such harm. But besides being scientifically valuable, they serve an important purpose in illustrating the seriousness of such storms and the threats they pose.

Below are some of the most alarming and visually stunning images of Maria.