Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vog once again blankets Big Island ~ No visible lava on the flow fields last night ~ A prediction for the viewing area

(Vog as it looks from my home this morning. Click on any image on this page for a larger size)

Portions of the Island of Hawaii and a broad area extending offshore are covered by thick volcanic haze, or vog, this morning. Windless conditions have not begun to dissipate any of it as of this posting.

The map above is the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park current sulfur dioxide conditions These instruments and animated map show just how the magma degassing fumes are spreading out in all directions at this time. This site maps only localized fumes, the vog actually spreads for hundreds of miles. Winds will likely push these fumes in one direction later today. What direction these winds come from will adversely affect all communities downwind. Forecasters are calling for light and variable winds today and tonight, which will likely cause these voggy conditions to continue and also spread to all Hawaiian Islands.

Light and variable breezes at the Halema’uma’u Crater are sending the gas plume straight up for 2000 feet this morning: Kilauea crator cam:

Magma pressure monitors placed on top of Kilauea Caldera and the Pu’u O’o crater are showing a small amount of inflation occurred in the last 24 hours at both sites but may be stalling and deflating at the Pu’u O’o at the moment; as the graph below indicates:

The Pu`u O`o is the current eruptive zone on the mountain, so deflation there could indicate a lessening or cessation of lava flowing down the lava tubes to the Waikupanaha ocean entry site. There is always a possibility that inflation returns to this site today. It takes about twelve hours for newly pressurized lava to reach the Waikupanaha ocean entry.

County of Hawaii lava viewing area:
When combining all the above information it appears that there will likely be none, or very little, visible molten lava or ocean entry lava plumes to be seen today and tonight. The viewing area may be open anyway, as it was last night, but not likely to delight visitors wanting to see the Big Island getting bigger.

Weather forecasts for tomorrow, Thursday the 7th, call for a brief return of Trades Winds. Should active lava return to the coastal viewing area tomorrow, then Thursday night there would be a possibility of seeing lava and having the viewing area be open as well. Check my blog tomorrow morning after 11:00 AM for a new assessment. If there is a radical change in lava pressure I may add an edit to this report later today.

One last note: Lava glowing from inside the Halema’uma’u Crater vent was visible last night. If you are in the area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park tonight drive down to the Jaggar museum and walk out to their overlook and see this for yourself. (Assuming it is not too voggy there)

Phone the lava viewing hotline after 3:00PM @ 961-8093 for each days open-or closed announcement

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