Late yesterday, Hurricane Laura made landfall in the southern US as a Category 4 storm. The massive hurricane with 140 mph winds is currently weakening (it's now a Category 2), but has already caused widespread damage, flooding, and left hundreds of thousands without power.
As the storm approached the US, dire warnings were given to all citizens within its path to evacuate. Microsoft Flight Simulator (opens in new tab) players, however, used the sim's real-time weather feature to fly directly into the storm. And some of the images are astounding.
Above & around Hurricane LauraMicrosoft Flight Simulator (Live Weather) pic.twitter.com/T7v8aJ0jhGAugust 27, 2020
so i saw hurricane laura in microsoft flight simulator pic.twitter.com/bEdK64xFYSAugust 26, 2020
Microsoft Flight Simulator makes it easy to quickly hop around the world, letting you choose the location where you'd like your plane to appear. You can also quickly adjust the time of day and weather, including turning on real-world weather conditions. If there's a thunderstorm anywhere in the world, a few clicks will teleport your airplane there so you can check it out.
Naturally, players have flocking to Hurricane Laura en masse.
Hurricane Laura looks impressive in Flight Simulator! ⛈️✈️ pic.twitter.com/FGhsAqE2c5August 26, 2020
Flying through a hurricane in Microsoft flight simulator pic.twitter.com/4ktofzEHJGAugust 27, 2020
Hurricane Laura isn't the first visual wonder to draw players' attention. Everyone's fascinated with the bizarre, towering monoliths (opens in new tab) that have sprouted up due to, apparently, typos in a world map wiki (opens in new tab). James, meanwhile, has been exploring the flight sim as a spooky story-telling tool (opens in new tab).
Thanks, The Verge (opens in new tab).