Alaska's Redoubt Volcano erupts; Midwest tornado outbreak possible today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:09 PM GMT on March 23, 2009

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After many months of rumbling, Alaska's Redoubt Volcano finally exploded beginning at 11:38pm last night. Four separate eruptions have sent clouds of ash up to 50,000 feet high into the air. Redoubt is located about 100 miles southwest of Alaska's most populous city, Anchorage. Ash fall advisories were issued for the cities of Talkeetna, Willow, and Cantwell to the north and west of Anchorage until 8am AKDT this morning, and light ash has already been reported at Skwentna. The prevailing southerly winds are expected to carry the ash west of Anchorage today. However, if the volcano has ejected significant ash at a height of 35,000 - 40,000 feet, the southwesterly winds at that altitude would carry the ash over Anchorage (Figure 2). Redoubt last erupted between December 1989 - April 1990, and its ash clouds presented a major hazard to aviation. On December 16, 1989, Redoubt's eruption spewed ash into the air to a height of 14,000 m (45,000 ft) catching KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight 867, a Boeing 747 aircraft, in the plume. All four engines stalled and the aircraft plummeted 13,000 feet before the pilot was able to restart the engines and land safely in Anchorage. For more information on the Redoubt eruption, check out the Alaksa Volcano Observatory home page.


Figure 1. The summit crater of Alaska's Mt. Redoubt crater showing rapidly melting glacier and enlarged "ice piston" feature on Saturday, March 21, 2009. Image credit: Cyrus Read, Alaska Volcano Observatory/U.S. Geological Survey.


Figure 2. Plot of ash trajectories originating at the Redoubt volcano (black star) at 8 am EDT Monday March 23, 2009. The initial eruption carried ash to a height of 20,000 feet (green line), so ash is expected to move NNE, passing west of Anchorage. Ash has already fallen at Skwentna (SKW) to the north of Anchorage. If the newer blasts were able to carry significant ash to 40,000 feet (pink line), the prevailing southwesterly winds at that altitude would carry the ash over Anchorage (ANC). Image credit: NOAA.

Significant tornado outbreak possible today
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is predicting a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather and tornadoes over eastern Kansas and northern Oklahoma today, as a strong Springtime low pressure system tracks across the Midwest. "Moderate Risk" is SPC's second-highest level of risk, and they expect severe thunderstorms with possible strong (EF2 or EF3) tornadoes will form late this afternoon along the cold front extending south from the low. This severe weather outbreak will be hampered somewhat by a lack of moisture, though. It's been very dry the first three months of 2009, which has made this year's tornado season about 50% less active than usual. Follow the outbreak today on our Interactive Tornado Page and Severe Weather Page.

Jeff Masters

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You and me both, my spelling isnt always up to par. If we get enough moisture available, the next one will probably be pretty harsh. seems to do that around late march, systems line up to pound us. Probably will be one that hits us this weekend or early next week from the looks of it.
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With cape values exceeding 3000j/kg, Friday will be an interesting day

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Quoting Midweststorm:
Talking about the storm rumbling in the plains here Ossgss? I wouldnt be surprised. This one gonna lay a hurtin on us with a lot of rain even though its been rather dry last few months. I expect a fair amount of flooding and some flash flooding near here (kansas city)


No MWS -- after this current storm was my take. I think it was Skyepony that referenced the next one could be a doosey. I sure wish they had spell check on this site. :)
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Quoting Vortex95:
okay so at least it isn't just me lol just that i've never seen one have band this large in a while its going from Canada to Florida.


Kinda looks like this without a name ah ?

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Yeah fortunately there isnt alot of moisture in the air or it would be a very bad storm system. Dew points arnt too high either.
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Talking about the storm rumbling in the plains here Ossgss? I wouldnt be surprised. This one gonna lay a hurtin on us with a lot of rain even though its been rather dry last few months. I expect a fair amount of flooding and some flash flooding near here (kansas city)
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Someone the other day referenced there would be another following this one that could be stronger. This is a big boy for sure.
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
2009 WRC OCSI FORECAST FOR THE ATLANTIC
COAST WRC OCSI CLIMATOLOGY
Mexico 40% 40%
Texas 40% 51%
Louisiana to Alabama 70% 59%
West Florida 60% 71%
East Florida 30% 41%
Georgia to N. Carolina 50% 56%
East Coast of US 30% 36%
Gulf Oil Blocks 90% 88%
Other 2009 Predictors from WRC’s OCSI:
OCSI Forecasts
Number of Named Storms: 7
Number intensifying into Hurricanes: 4
Number of Hurricane Days: 7
Number of Tropical Storm Days: 47
US Landfalls: 3
Cat 3 or Higher Storms in the Atlantic: 50%
The risk of tropical cyclones occurring in the Atlantic by month is:
May 10% - June 50% - July 30% - August 80% - September 100% -
October 100% - November 40%
The 2009 forecast is based on the activity in the following years: 1879, 1890, 1902, 1914, 1924, 1934, 1945, 1955, 1965, 1977, 1987 and 1997.
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According the to the WRC, the central Gulf Coast will have the highest risk compared to normal. During a typical year, this area has a 59% probability of a hurricane strike. The WRC is pegging this year's probability of a hurricane strike (in Louisiana and Alabama) at 70%.

Following is how they describe the methodology used in developing the forecast:

The Houston-based Weather Research Center is one of a handful of organizations that make seasonal hurricane predictions. WRC uses a model called Orbital Cyclone Strike Index (OCSI) which uses the solar cycle [an indication of the solar system’s orbit] to predict the risk for coastal residents each hurricane season. The OCSI model is based on the premise that there are orbital influences that are reflected in the global circulation pattern on the sun as well as the global circulation pattern of the earth. These orbital influences are reflected in the 11.1 year sun spot cycle.
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As for the weather headed my way, figure it will poor on me once I get out of school later tonite lol.

@tampa gotta hand it to you, your full of information :)
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Hopefully redoubt doesnt erupt too much, anyone remember the following year or 2 after Pinatubo(sp?) erupted in '92? We got a full summer of rain here in Kansas city, 3 days the entire summer it didnt Rain in 93. Flooding all over midwest. I even remember that we had a lot of snow over that winter too.
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Here is a replay from the eruption of Redoubt last nite.....

Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
This looks bad.....Just to the East of the Spin will be the greatest threat!






All of this is at TampaSpins Link
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With greetings from Germany:

Information Statement from AVO

Beginning last night (Sunday March 22, 2009) at approximately 22:38 AKDT, Redoubt Volcano produced a series of five explosive eruptions that each lasted from four to thirty minutes. The last one ended at 5:00 AM AKDT this morning (March 23). National Weather Service radar, pilot reports, and AVO analysis of satellite imagery suggest that these events produced ash clouds that reached 60,000 ft above sea level (asl), with the bulk of the ash volume between 25 - 30,000 ft asl. Traces of ash fall have been reported in Skwentna, Talkeetna, Wasilla, and Trapper Creek.

AVO remains at Avation Color Code RED and Alert Level WARNING. Seismic unrest continues at Redoubt in the form of elevated volcanic tremor. NEXRAD radar data show that the last significant ash emission was concurrent with the final explosive event at 5:00 AM AKDT. Since that time, no ash has been visible in radar, suggesting that if ash emission is occurring, it is below approximately 13,000 ft asl and/or too fine to be detected. Poor weather at the volcano currently hinders visual observations.

Last night's explosive eruptions caused melting of the Drift glacier and greatly increased discharge down the Drift River. AVO plans a helicopter overflight to the area today to assess conditions at the volcano and along the Drift River. The explosions also destroyed one seismic station near the volcano's summit (RSO), and disrupted telemetry from AVO's obsveration hut. This telemetry outage affects the web camera, a continuous GPS station, and two broadband seismic stations. Repairs to this data link will be undertaken as conditions permit. Seven telemetered seismic stations surrounding Redoubt remain in operation.

The eruptions were preceded by approximately 60 hours of elevated seismicity in the form of discrete earthquakes under the volcano. AVO raised the Aviation Color Code/Alert Level from YELLOW/ADVISORY to ORANGE/WATCH on Saturday, March 21 at 22:09 AKDT. This increase in seismicity likely reflected the upward movement of magma towards the surface. Prior to this weekend, Redoubt had exhibited signs of volcanic unrest beginning in the Fall of 2008 which then escalated in late January, 2009. Last night's explosions were the first significant ash-producing eruptions of the unrest.

Further explosive activity could occur with little or no warning, and could occur intermittently for weeks or months. AVO remains staffed 24 hours per day will issue further information as it becomes available.

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Severe Weather is breaking out as suggested.
TORNADO WARNING RAPID CITY SD - KUNR 348 PM CDT MON MAR 23 2009
SVR T-STORM WARNING OMAHA/VALLEY NEBRASKA - KOAX 334 PM CDT MON MAR 23 2009
SVR T-STORM WARNING SIOUX FALLS SD - KFSD 334 PM CDT MON MAR 23 2009
TORNADO WARNING OMAHA/VALLEY NEBRASKA - KOAX 330 PM CDT MON MAR 23 2009
TORNADO WARNING OMAHA/VALLEY NEBRASKA - KOAX 327 PM CDT MON MAR 23 2009
TORNADO WARNING NORTH PLATTE NE - KLBF 326 PM CDT MON MAR 23 2009


Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Potentially of interest to Dr. Masters...

Ann Arbor News dies, reborn online

Mar 23 12:13 PM US/Eastern

The Ann Arbor News announced Monday that it will follow in the footsteps of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer by abandoning its daily newspaper format in favor of delivering stories online.

The 174-year-old Michigan newspaper, operated by the Booth Newspapers arm of Advance Publications, said it would publish its final print edition in July.

The daily newspaper will die only to be replaced by an Internet news operation, AnnArbor.com.

"This is a difficult day for all of us at The Ann Arbor News," publisher Laurel Champion said in a letter published in Monday's edition.

"As we say hello to AnnArbor.com, we will say goodbye to The Ann Arbor News."

The news website will be complemented by a "print product" two days each week, according to the publisher.

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SPACE WALK
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Just found a great loop of the fallout of Redoubt.....

Redoubt Satellite Link


Tampa, you are you still going strong. Did you get any sleep or are you just sprinkling the Folgers grounds directly on your cerial? º¿ª
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Quoting HurrikanEB:
Link

its not every day that you have a tornado watch and a blizzard warning in the same place


Wow, your not kidding. 100% Blizzard and then 100% heavey snow, with a sprink of severe weather and chance of Tornado's as an appitizer. Throw in a Volcano and you have a grand slam. :)
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Just found a great loop of the fallout of Redoubt.....

Redoubt Satellite Link
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Next 6hr projected Ash fallout......


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Link

its not every day that you have a tornado watch and a blizzard warning in the same place
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What a way to spend a birthday! I got called into work(for 3 hours) and every bottle in my store is covered with SAND! The wind is blowing at about 50 mph at the moment. I wish I had a flat top, that ought to be the official haircut for Ks residents!
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29. Skyepony (Mod)
This was interesting~ about big volcanos of artic circle in the area of Alaska~ the weather affects. Aerosols pretty much staying north of US & Europe since statosphere flows from equater to poles. But the theory is India will have a hot & dry monsoon season..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37822
Yep... still cloudy... won't see much at all today. Especially with the webcams and webicorder out. :( I'm not going anywhere today. We lost power for an hour this morning, and it made me realize that we're not as prepared as we thought. We're still ok, but we got caught without extra feed for the animals and no extra gasoline. Pumps don't work without electricity. Stores were running credit cards old-school, and things are a bit of a mess. Here we stockpiled water, since pumps don't work without electricity, and only the gas stove in the living room works. I've got 3 incubators and 5 brooders with baby chicks that took all of the generator power, but now I have them situated that if it goes out again there will be no time lost getting them back under heat. :)
What an experience this has been so far... and that's WITHOUT ashfall! LOL!
Member Since: December 26, 2006 Posts: 278 Comments: 1251
Satellite of Redoubt

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Rain, glorious rain in the Tampa Bay area! I was outside in it... it was wet and falling from the sky...

Of course, it only lasted an hour.. but WOW.. it was awesome...

In a probably related story, today I took a nail in my rear passenger side tire.. of course it was RAINING and I couldn't change it out for a spare...

Que sera sera...
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Here is my Web site for Monitoring Redoubt! I updated for easy coverage..

TampaSpins Web Link
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
They lost the closeup Web Cam......all the close monitoring instruments are not working....NOt a good sign.

Redoubt Volcano Latest Observations
2009-03-23 07:46:00

The eruption of Redoubt volcano continues.

Ash plumes generated by the explosive bursts so far have all drifted to the north.

Ashfall advisories are available on the National Weather Service site http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/volcano.php

AVO's web camera near the volcano is no longer functioning
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Redoubt webcams seem to be a bit busy today. So, much for driving up there, mapquest says 5,000 miles, 80 plus hours and $700 in gas. I will wait for the webcam access :)
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Current visibility is also being obscured by snowfall.


Thank you!!
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CI Webcam

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It's just starting to get light. Overcast, currently 24°F. No snow right now, but it's in the forecast throughout the week.

I'm seeing conflicting reports about prevailing winds for this afternoon. This morning they were saying they would turn so that the peninsula would get ash... this morning's weather report on the local news shows it changing so the ash blows further west and away from the heavily populated areas. We're ready either way, but it would be nice if someone more knowledgeable than I am could post some wind flow charts for later today.
Member Since: December 26, 2006 Posts: 278 Comments: 1251
11. Starwoman "Is it still night there, or are the webcams not working ?? All are black...

Approximate sunrise/sunset times at the Redoubt - CI webcam for Monday March, 23, 2009
Sunrise: 07:58AKDT / Sunset: 20:26AKDT
It is now 07:11AKDT . Current visibility is also being obscured by snowfall.
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Did Tonga and Indonesia's recent activity play a role in nudging Redoubt to erupt? Call it a tectonic frontal system ?
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Keeper - Up to the roof and aim your snow machine at Redoubt, if you please.
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Quoting AKSnowLuvr:
http://www.adn.com/volcano/story/732796.html

Ash at 60K feet now...


This is a Major eruption at those heights...WOW! Weather patterns could change alot from this.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting AKSnowLuvr:
We're expecting the prevailing winds to change this afternoon, so we're busy squirreling away anything we may need for the next few days. Nothing in Sterling so far (east of Soldotna/Kenai) but it's still very dark for another hour or so. This will be my first first-hand experience with this... yippee.

May it be quick for you. I was in the ash from Mt. St. Helens - from Boise to Missoula & then across eastern WA. It was persistent & ate engines as well as surprising things like backpack & sleeping bags zippers. Cattle wandered in eastern WA with inches of it caked on their backs for weeks. Gritty, fiberglassy, skin irritating stuff that seeps in through any aperture. Ugh!
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http://www.adn.com/volcano/story/732796.html

Ash at 60K feet now...
Member Since: December 26, 2006 Posts: 278 Comments: 1251

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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