Sunday, January 3, 2010

Volcanic haze continues ~ Ocean entry lava weak & voggy ~ Volcano awareness month kicks off

It looked like another planet as I gazed out at this very voggy sunset off my lanai last night:

(Click on ay image for a larger size)
The vog is not as thick in some areas as yesterday’s record levels, but light southerly winds continue to keep the toxic fumes laying across the Big Island today.

Lava flow:
Last night at the lava viewing area there was a weak ocean entry. Magma pressures under the Kilauea Volcano continue low despite some leveling off and small inflationary spikes this morning. The graph currently shows this:

Volcano awareness month kicks off in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:
Tribune Herald story here: Excerpt: ... visitors to the national park on Saturday were met by rangers wearing gas masks and standing behind barricades and signs that warned others to stay in the car.

Jaggar Museum, the Visitor Center and the steam vents were all closed, and even the venerable Volcano House hotel had shut down Friday for long-planned renovations. The public celebration became a media-only press conference inside the safe confines of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Outside, meanwhile, sulfur dioxide levels spiked at 14 parts per million, an extremely dangerous amount.

Volcano Awareness Month marks the 50th anniversary of the 1960 eruption that destroyed Kapoho Village. Today marks the 27th birthday of Kilauea's current eruption on the East Rift Zone.

And 2010 also marks the 60th anniversary of the 1950 flow of Mauna Loa, which imperiled South Kona with its fast-moving rivers of lava, and the 20th anniversary of the destruction of Kalapana village…

Hawaii Weather Synopsis
A front approaching the state from the northwest is expected to stall near Kauai Monday. This front will bring gusty southwesterly winds and scattered showers to the western islands from today through Tuesday. Expect mostly clear skies and a slight chance of showers over Maui County and the Big Island. The southwest winds are also expected to carry vog across most of the aloha state until mid-week, when a stronger front pushes down the island chain from Kauai to Maui county Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Wind directions are unfavorable for lava viewing; winds from the south or southwest blow the sulfur dioxide and glassy ash particles from the ocean entry plume back over the viewing area (if there is a lava plume!).

It would be advised to phone the Hawaii County Civil Defense lava viewing hotline after 3:00 PM to verify if it is open: 961-8093

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