Volcano Season is Year ‘Round


Jeff Braun

Volcanoes, particularly volcanic ash, are major concerns to many of us in meteorology.  While the physical presence of the mountain and the energy expended during an eruption can be quite enormous, dangerous, and both life and property threating,  the atmospheric discharge of ash can also be a major hazard to aviation as well as the local health communities.

The recent eruption of Okmok (1st eruption – July 12) volcano in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands has garnered some recent press in the USA which started as recently as July 12, 2008 (see photo above – courtesy NOAA).  Days later (July 17th) part of the plume was seen coming into our own Pacific Northwest (CIMMS blog).  However, there have been many other important eruptions around the world which have already impacted the lives of many and continue threaten many more.  The Chaitin Volcano in Chili is a good example (see photos from National Geographic here).  Below are links to many of the volcano centers around the world, including their most recent and active volcanoes:

Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (Okmok – Alaska, USA);  Buenos Aires VAAC (Ubinas – Peru); Darwin VAAC (Rabaul – New Britain); Tokyo VAAC (Sakurajima – Japan); Toulouse VAAC (Sete Cidades – Azores); Washington VAAC (Tungurahua – Ecuador).

Other important links which include volcanic (ash) eruption concerns:

Alaska Aviation Weather Unit; and NOAA/NWS Aviation Weather Center

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