A photo taken from inside the eye of Hurricane Dorian.

  • A photo from hurricane hunters taken inside the eye of Hurricane Dorian shows the heart of the mega-storm as it barrels toward the US.
  • The photo was taken Sunday by Garrett Black, a meteorologist in the US Air Force's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron.
  • The Category 5 storm decimated northern parts of The Bahamas on Sunday. It is expected to bring heavy rains, strong wings, and flooding to the southeastern US on Tuesday.
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This eerily calm photo shows the eye of Hurricane Dorian, one of the most powerful storms ever seen in the Atlantic.

US Air Force pilots, known as hurricane hunters, are flying regular reconnaissance missions into Dorian, which strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane early Sunday as it tore through the northern Bahamas.

Garrett Black, a meteorologist with the US Air Force's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew through the eye on Sunday, giving a glimpse inside the destructive storm.

Read more: Meet the Hurricane Hunters - the pilots and scientists who fly into hurricanes like Dorian to gather data for forecasters

This video from the National Hurricane Center shows a plane making its way through the cloud.

The vertical stacks of thick ominous cloud seen in the photo and video are known to meteorologists as the "stadium effect" - a sign of a particularly powerful storm.

People in northern parts of The Bahamas posted videos and pictures to social media on Sunday showing violent rains, winds, and flooding clattering the Abaco Islands.

The National Hurricane Center said on Sunday they recorded maximum winds of 185 mph on the Abaco Islands, making Dorian joint top for the strongest Atlantic hurricane on record.

Read more: Photos show the damage from Dorian in the Caribbean as the hurricane heads for Florida

Hubert Minnis, the prime minister of the Bahamas, said: "You cannot tell the difference as to the beginning of the street versus where the ocean begins."

The NOAA's Sunday morning forecast for Dorian.

Hurricane Dorian is now making its way toward Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

It is expected to cause "life-threatening storm surge and devastating hurricane-force winds" from as early as Tuesday.

Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina have declared states of emergency.

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