The worst is over for the ash clouds from Iceland's volcano

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:56 PM GMT on April 21, 2010

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The worst is now over for European air traffic disruptions from the ongoing eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The eruptions are currently only throwing ash up to 16,000 feet (4900 meters), according to the latest advisory from the UK Met Office. Lightning images from UK Met Office show no new lightning strikes from the volcano's plume since Sunday. The lower amounts of ash are due, in part, to the fact that the volcano has melted most of the ice and snow covering the crater. This ice had caused the hot magma erupting through it to fragment into fine ash capable of reaching much higher heights of 6 - 11 km (20,000 - 36,000') in the early stages of the eruption. Ash is also reduced because the volcano has entered a phase where it is producing more magma. Although it is possible that the volcano could enter a more explosive eruption phase that would throw ash high into the air once again, the winds are expected to shift over Iceland late this week. The northwest winds that have been "stuck" in place over Iceland over the past week due to a persistent trough of low pressure over northern Europe, will gradually shift to westerly by Friday and southwesterly by Saturday. This means that new eruptive material will blow over the northern British Islands and northern Scandanavia late this week, avoiding the main portion of Europe. Ash should be confined to northern Scandanavia and Greenland through most of next week, since the southwesterly winds are expected to continue through most of next week.


Figure 1. Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano began to ease out of the ash-producing phase of its eruption and started to emit magma on April 19, 2010, said the Icelandic Met Office. The cloud of ash coming from the volcano was lower than it had been in previous days, rising just 4 to 6 kilometers (2 to 3 miles) into the atmosphere. In this photo-like image, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, the ash extends south in a broad brown plume. Smaller plumes extend from the coast east of the primary plume. These are likely re-suspended ash, fine volcanic ash that had settled on the land, but is now being picked up by the wind. The plume blows south and then curves east over the ocean, blending with the outer bands of a low-pressure system. Image credit: NASA.

I'll have a new post Thursday (Earth Day!)
Jeff Masters

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Quoting Levi32:


2005:



2010:



Too bad AOML isn't updating...
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Quoting SouthALWX:
drak .. do we have a comparable '05 OHC map?


2005:



2010:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26659
Quoting SouthALWX:
drak .. do we have a comparable '05 OHC map?


No, unfortunately, they only go back to 2009
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

Humor in Comments
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Quoting JRRP:

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15940
329. JRRP
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Wow, I've never seen wind shear at such a high value. Already 100 knots and gaining:


I've seen 140kts above Australia. Mostly in winter. Running at 120kts above Perth, Western Australia at the moment as seen below.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15940
drak .. do we have a comparable '05 OHC map?
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325. xcool
yeah
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Quoting msphar:
Anybody noticed or commented on the dip in the ITCZ lately? Not following the sun. Sags below the equator at about 25W Long. Seems like its moving the wrong way at the moment.

Havent been following it too much but if it lags south in the atlantic it would only serve to reduce cloudiness over the MDR which cant be good :)
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Anybody noticed or commented on the dip in the ITCZ lately? Not following the sun. Sags below the equator at about 25W Long. Seems like its moving the wrong way at the moment.
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Quoting xcool:





Wow.
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321. xcool



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Have a great night! See ya'll tomorrow.
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Looks like we could see some warming of the Western Gulf as well.
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Quoting help4u:
April 22,2010.This is the day the LORD has made!!
no help4u
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54434
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
On the 18z GFS there seems to be an area of disturbed weather parallel to the Florida border to the east. Although unlikely anything will happen, it is something to keep yourself entertained for a while, lol.



Gotta Love GFS fantasy land. Notice how warm The Yucatan Peninsula and The African Continent is.
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Quoting Drakoen:
The dip in the NAO has really allowed temperatures to warm, especially in the Caribbean; the Gulf of Mexico should have no problems reaching average levels.


Could stick around for a while.

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Wow, I've never seen wind shear at such a high value. Already 100 knots and gaining:

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Celsius.


6C of warming in the last month off the Louisiana Coastline? Very impressive...
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
On the 18z GFS there seems to be an area of disturbed weather parallel to the Florida border to the east. Although unlikely anything will happen, it is something to keep yourself entertained for a while, lol.



*By the way this is 384 hours.
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On the 18z GFS there seems to be an area of disturbed weather parallel to the Florida border to the east. Although unlikely anything will happen, it is something to keep yourself entertained for a while, lol.

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The dip in the NAO has really allowed temperatures to warm, especially in the Caribbean; the Gulf of Mexico should have no problems reaching average levels.
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


Is that temperature scale in Celsius or Fahrenheit?


Celsius.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


I know last year they ran out of funding then somehow managed to come back. Not sure whats happening this time.


They'll be back. Were only 13 trillion in debt.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Is that temperature scale in Celsius or Fahrenheit?
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Blog rather busy.
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


What's the deal with that? Did their server crash or something? Out of funding?


I know last year they ran out of funding then somehow managed to come back. Not sure whats happening this time.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Its a shame that AOML hasn't updated in six days.

It would be interesting to see the TCHP maps.


What's the deal with that? Did their server crash or something? Out of funding?
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Quoting Drakoen:
On a side note those graphics from NRL global NCOM are much more appealing than AOML.


Also, the SST archive goes back much further. :)
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Quoting Drakoen:
On a side note those graphics from NRL global NCOM are much more appealing than AOML.


Its a shame that AOML hasn't updated in six days.

It would be interesting to see the TCHP maps.
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NAO
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Quoting PcolaDan:


I just saw that too. Are you stuck on the scienceblog too? lol Some of that stuff is waaaaay over my pea brain, but informative none the less.
From what I read they really don't know the effects of light ash. Heavy concentrations is obvious. Since they are not even sure of how much ash is really in the air, it makes things difficult. It seems a concern is also cumulative effect, and the only way to find out is to fly and keep checking over time. I heard on the news tonight that one of the US airlines had a mechanic on every trans Atlantic flight.

Those folks on the volcano blog are pretty smart, most of that info is also "over my head". Alot of talk about them trying to determine what the earthquakes are telling them about "E" in Iceland. Hopefully the web-cams will clear up for tomorrow.

I understand the airlines have lost $1.7 billion, but if planes are experiencing engine damage/problems, they need to understand even 1 unfortunate accident will cost people their very lives, cost them millions in damages from lawsuits and probably shut down all European air traffic.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Drakoen:
On a side note those graphics from NRL global NCOM are much more appealing than AOML.


Yea, you can see the ocean currents at work.
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Over the past 20 days or so the waters south of Louisiana have warmed about 5 to 6 degrees.

Looks like we're going to a have substantial warming period in the Gulf and Caribbean over the next month. I wouldn't be surprised that by the end of May, we're above normal in the Gulf and much above normal in the Caribbean.
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On a side note those graphics from NRL global NCOM are much more appealing than AOML.
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Quoting Drakoen:


I only see a 1C difference now in the GOM between 2010 and 2005


Yeah. I think that will be erased very quickly during early May with the pattern that is coming up.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26659
Quoting Levi32:


2010. Those two images don't even make the gulf look that much colder this year.


The Gulf is quickly catching up. Not surprising considering the recent warm weather and the fact that it is the shallowest part of our Basin.
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Amarillo NWS report on the Apr 20, 2010 the 2 tornadoes, both rated EF 0:
Link
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Levi32:


2010. Those two images don't even make the gulf look that much colder this year.


I only see a 1C difference now in the GOM between 2010 and 2005
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April 22,2010.This is the day the LORD has made!!
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Which is scarier?

2005

2010


Now and which will likely continue to be the trend as the focus of the heat will be in the Caribbean in the ASO period.
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Quoting Bordonaro:
Interesting article from the Airline Industry Review, about planes experiencing ash related damage and or problems. I know hundred of thousands have been stranded for 5 + days, but is it really safe to fly in volcanic ash, although it has been dispersed?

Link


I just saw that too. Are you stuck on the scienceblog too? lol Some of that stuff is waaaaay over my pea brain, but informative none the less.
From what I read they really don't know the effects of light ash. Heavy concentrations is obvious. Since they are not even sure of how much ash is really in the air, it makes things difficult. It seems a concern is also cumulative effect, and the only way to find out is to fly and keep checking over time. I heard on the news tonight that one of the US airlines had a mechanic on every trans Atlantic flight.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Which is scarier?

2005

2010


2010. Those two images don't even make the gulf look that much colder this year.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26659
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Which is scarier?

2005

2010

I would say 2010.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Which is scarier?

2005

2010


Now without a doubt.
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Which is scarier?

2005

2010
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So, how hot do ya'll think the water is going to get this season in the GOM? My favorite buoy is on it's way to the magic number...

Conditions at 42360 as of
(7:00 pm CDT on 04/21/2010)
0000 GMT on 04/22/2010:
Unit of Measure: Time Zone:
Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.

Wind Direction (WDIR): NNE ( 20 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 1.9 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 3.9 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 1.0 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 5 sec
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.90 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.01 in ( Falling )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 72.1 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 78.3 °F
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Earth Day 2010 April 22
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668

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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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