Indonesian volcano may cut President's visit short

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:01 PM GMT on November 09, 2010

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President Obama is in Jakarta, Indonesia, but that nation's most active volcano--Mount Merapi on Java--is spewing enough ash to potentially cut the President's visit short. Merapi (literally "Mountain of Fire" in Javanese) has been erupting since late October, and the mountain's pyroclastic flows and ash have been blamed for the deaths of over 150 Indonesians since the eruption began. The capital city of Jakarta lies about 250 miles west-northwest of Merapi, and received ash from the volcano over the weekend. At Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport, airlines canceled 36 flights on Saturday, and an additional 50 flights on Sunday. The airport handles about 900 flights per day. The Indonesian Disaster Management Office reported that volcanic ash from Merapi fell in Jakarta and some nearby areas such as Bogor and Puncak on Saturday night, but only in very light falls. No flights were canceled yesterday, as the ash cloud remained about 50 miles to the south of the city.


Figure 1. Signs of the eruption at Mount Merapi managed to puncture the persistent cloud cover over Java on November 5, 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this natural-color image the same day. The volcano's plume formed a V shape, fanning out to the west from the summit and casting shadows on the surrounding clouds below. According to the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Darwin, Australia, the ash plume rose to at least 55,000 feet (16 kilometers) in altitude and stretched 220 miles (350 km) to the west and southwest, as of 12:13 a.m. local time on November 6 (17:13 UTC, Nov 5). Image credit: NASA.

The winds today are blowing from east to west over the Merapi volcano, and are expected to continue this direction for the remainder of the day. According to the latest Volcanic ash advisory from the Darwin, Australia Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (Figure 2), the ash from Merapi extends about 140 miles to the west of the volcano, and is expected to remain just south of Jakarta today. However, the ash cloud is sufficiently close to the city that just a small change in wind direction could bring ash to Jakarta, which might shut down the airport. A run I performed using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model (Figure 2, right side) shows the potential for ash to reach Jakarta if Merapi erupts continuously for 48 hours, beginning at 1am EST this morning. So, the President will have to keep a careful eye on Merapi today in case the ash cloud approaches Jakarta.


Figure 2. Latest volcanic ash advisory from the Darwin, Australia Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (left) predicts that ash from Merapi will stay just south of Jakarta today. NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model was run assuming a continuous 48-hour eruption of the volcano began at 1am EST this morning. That model predicts that the ash could from Merapi could come very close to Jakarta by 1am EST on Thursday.

Impact of Merapi on the climate
The amount of sulfur dioxide and ash that Merapi has thrown into the atmosphere thus far has been relatively minor as volcanic eruptions go, and I don't expect Merapi's eruption will cause a noticeable influence on the climate. As I discuss on our Volcanoes and climate web page, major volcanic eruptions in the tropics have, in the past, caused substantial cooling of Earth's climate by injecting large amounts of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. The most notable such eruption in recent history was in 1815 by the Indonesian volcano Tambora. The sulfur pumped by this eruption into the stratosphere dimmed sunlight so extensively that global temperatures fell by about 2°F (1°C) for 1 - 2 years afterward. This triggered the famed Year Without a Summer in 1816. Killing frosts and snow storms in May and June 1816 in Eastern Canada and New England caused widespread crop failures, and lake and river ice were observed as far south as Pennsylvania in July and August. Birger Lühr, a volcano researcher at the GFZ in Potsdam, Germany, commented in Der Spiegel magazine that Merapi has a magma reservoir triple the size of Tambora's. Lühr did not expect that the current eruption of Merapi would cause a massive climate-cooling event, but he did caution that the current cone of the volcano lies on top of the ruins of a more ancient crater, evidence that Merapi has had a cataclysmic eruption in the past.

Invest 93L in the Caribbean not currently a threat
An area of disturbed weather (Invest 93L) has developed in the central Caribbean, a few hundred miles south of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The heavy thunderstorm activity associated with 93L is rather limited, due in part to some dry air to the north. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots and SSTs are very warm, 29°C, so we will have to watch this area for signs of development. None of the reliable global forecast models for predicting tropical cyclone formation (GFS, NOGAPS, ECMWF, and UKMET) are developing 93L into a tropical depression over the coming week, and NHC is giving 93L a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Thursday.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Invest 93L.

I'll have a new post Wednesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Neapolitan:
93L not doing too well; his pressure is up, and his winds are down:

AL, 93, 2010110918, , BEST, 0, 148N, 685W, 20, 1008, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1009, 150, 40, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,

Center relocating south of the US/British VI:
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Neapolitan:

Not me! As a long-time pastafarian, I answer only to the FSM, and am therefore subject to no such post-mortem reckoning.
Appropriate tropical weather-related image

:-)
Good afternoon Nea...I was hoping that you read post 64...
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New record! I've hit the ! button on 117 of the posts on this "topic" so far and I think I sprained my ! button finger. Anybody know a good lawyer?
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"I have freedom of speech"

Well technically we don't. We have freedom from the gov't intruding on freedom of speech, but since this is a private blog, technically any comments could be censored for any reason.

Anyway, from what I've read this volcano has been hard to get a read on since I think they weren't expecting it to keep going the way it has.
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143. Jax82
Not much weather talk on this weather blog today. Here have a satellite image :)



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Quoting Jeff9641:
Too bad once OZ arrived the Yazoo city tornado became rain wraped. He would have gotten some nice pics.



We almost got him killed. I won't be a part of that again. Open ground where we can see whats goin on.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Hey Baha, has it been cool in the Bahamas of late? Looking to head that way soon and just wondering what temps you are experiencing?
I'm suffering. The wx is great.

Nassau, Bahamas
79 °F / 26 °C
Partly Cloudy

We had a big cooldown and decrease in humidity on Friday past.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


hey Pensacola Doug, hearing that next years tornado season could be pretty intense just wondering if you are doing any chases next year?



Not in Mississippi...Out on the plains, yes.
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You know, when pple r not talking weather and browbeating each other abt AGW, there are some pretty decent thinkers in here.... I don't think we all have to agree about our personal religious views. In fact, I figure my relationship with God is a pretty private thing. Judge me as you find me, I say, always remembering that we are reminded to "Judge not, lest ye be judged".

BTW, [+1] @ Jed....

Now, can't WAIT to see what the next wave makes of the conversation..... LOL
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Not me! As a long-time pastafarian, I answer only to the FSM, and am therefore subject to no such post-mortem reckoning.
Appropriate tropical weather-related image

:-)
See-- Dont you like that choice you just made to make a Satire of your creator and nothing happened to you. Now if he is real, dont you think thats a pretty cool leader? Chance after Chance! LOL
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
actually JF to be honest it a great way to solve there problems down there with a mass died off there wouild be a whole lot less of a problem and iam not saying that to be mean or cruel just think about it for a moment what better way than to let nature do there dirty work for them


the past two times I have come to this blog, I have seen some of the worst cowardly comments made from bloggers on here in relation to Haiti..some of yall need serious medication..yall have nothing better to do than to talk about anihaliting a race while sitting in your mom's basement...unfu**ing real!!! Thank GOD I have a life!!!
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
I've never been called a "right-wing theocrat" before. 1st time for everything.
Me either. Betcha that's never happened to NEA before either.... lol
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Quoting Minnemike:
you're alright Doug... just as misguided as me :D



Thats pretty scary!
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



LOL! It's all good Mike! I am not a very religious guy. I believe whole-heartedly in religious tolerance tho. Live and let live.
you're alright Doug... just as misguided as me :D
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Quoting lickitysplit:
Can the Admin....?
I really had to minus this. Everybody else is having a rational conversation about their views, and u have to come in here with ur ad hominem attacks.
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Not me! As a long-time pastafarian, I answer only to the FSM, and am therefore subject to no such post-mortem reckoning.
Appropriate tropical weather-related image

:-)


May you be touched by his noodly appendage...

In semolina we trust...

RA-MEN!
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Not All Stations Depicted are Operated by the National Data Buoy Center.



3 observations from 11/09/2010 1700 GMT to 11/09/2010 1822 GMT

ID T1 TIME LAT LON DIST HDG WDIR WSPD GST WVHT DPD APD MWD PRES PTDY ATMP WTMP DEWP VIS TCC TIDE S1HT S1PD S1DIR S2HT S2PD S2DIR Ice Sea SwH SwP SwD WWH WWP WWD STEEPNESS
(GMT) nm T T kts kts ft sec sec T in in F F F nmi 8th ft ft sec T ft sec T Acc Ice ft sec ft sec
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------------------
SHIP S 1800 12.10 -68.90 58 246 260 8.0 - 3.3 5.0 - - 29.80 - 86.0 86.0 78.8 11 5 - - - - - - - ---- ----- - - - - - - -
SHIP S 1800 14.30 -72.70 295 292 10 9.7 - 3.3 5.0 - - 29.80 -0.07 84.2 84.2 73.8 11 5 - 3.3 6.0 70 - - - ---- ----- - - - - - - -
2 observations reported for 1800 GMT

ID T1 TIME LAT LON DIST HDG WDIR WSPD GST WVHT DPD APD MWD PRES PTDY ATMP WTMP DEWP VIS TCC TIDE S1HT S1PD S1DIR S2HT S2PD S2DIR Ice Sea SwH SwP SwD WWH WWP WWD STEEPNESS
(GMT) nm T T kts kts ft sec sec T in in F F F nmi 8th ft ft sec T ft sec T Acc Ice ft sec ft sec
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------------------
42059 B 1750 15.05 -67.47 156 11 190 9.7 11.7 5.6 11 5.6 - 29.76 -0.07 82.4 84.0 73.9 - - - - - - - - - ---- ----- 4.59 10.8 N/A 2.62 4.3 N/A SWELL
1 observations reported for 1700 GMT

1 B = Buoy, C = C-MAN Station, D = Drifting Buoy, S = Ship, O = Other
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/radial_search.php?lat1=12.5n&lon1=68w&uom=E&dist=300&ot=A&time=1LinkLink
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Not me! As a long-time pastafarian, I answer only to the FSM, and am therefore subject to no such post-mortem reckoning.
Appropriate tropical weather-related image

:-)
yeah!! dish it up :D
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93L not doing too well; his pressure is up, and his winds are down:

AL, 93, 2010110918, , BEST, 0, 148N, 685W, 20, 1008, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1009, 150, 40, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jedkins01:
The bottom line is, no matter what you believe in, all will have to stand before God.

Not me! As a long-time pastafarian, I answer only to the FSM, and am therefore subject to no such post-mortem reckoning.
Appropriate tropical weather-related image

:-)
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Quoting Minnemike:
despite being called a 'secular-prgressive', surely implying my hell-bound misunderstanding of all things, I will apologize on behalf of Lickity for that remark.



LOL! It's all good Mike! I am not a very religious guy. I believe whole-heartedly in religious tolerance tho. Live and let live.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Re:101

Unreal....
dont take what i said as how i feel its something i don't want but those that are in power down there have already though about it trust me i know ive was there in the late 90's i seen trucks pick up the kids and take them away only to see the trucks to return with no one in them but the soilders that took them i ask where the children were i was told to mind my business or i would be ship out faster than i could believe i seen children being hit with leather straps for misbehaving and when i tried to intervene was told not to get involved and carry on with my business it happens all over the world friend trust me i spend 3 months there in that hell hole i went places that even the drivers that took me would not get out of there cars i valvue my freedom and laws that i live under in canada maybe some on here need to go to some of these places and live for a few months to realize what they take for granted
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52267
I don't see the day when this comes to civility. Here's the facts: America is a nation for ALL religious and non-religious people. It's what the founding fathers wanted because of the extreme control the British put on us. The day the nation gets better is the day when we accept all religions, and unfortunately, one party isn't ready to do that.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
I've never been called a "right-wing theocrat" before. 1st time for everything.
despite being called a 'secular-prgressive', surely implying my hell-bound misunderstanding of all things, I will apologize on behalf of Lickity for that remark.
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#101 - KOG, this may be exactly what the Haitian leaders are doing. Let nature do their dirty work. Sad to think that any leader could be this callous but seeing the pictures out of Haiti, they have done LITTLE TO NOTHING to help the rural, common folk before or since the earthquake and it appears they have no plans to help these people live a life without suffering. DONATE TO PORTLIGHT!! Robyn
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I've never been called a "right-wing theocrat" before. 1st time for everything.
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Who thinks 93L will get a name?
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Quoting lickitysplit:
Can the Admin ban redzone and tampaspin for being idiots?
man... and just when I was seeing civility..

Totally uncalled for!
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comon now we are a special kind of stupid
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52267
This religious conversation seems quite civil to me so far. Agreed it's not the place and time for it, but I gotta say, so far it's come off a lot cleaner than AGW debates. Although, I do have some folks on ignore...
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Re:101

Unreal....
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the US is a christian country?

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

treaty of tripoli, section 11. ratified by the senate unanimously in 1797.

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95. stormpetrol BTW looks like 93l is moving NNE towards PR.

oops I was wrong thats just the clouds blowing in that direction looks as though the LLC is stationary or drifting NW around 15n/70.5W
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About JeffMasters

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