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 KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


more on the way big fish much much more


I thought we agreed you were not going to post that anymore?
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Quoting Bordonaro:

And on Main Street in Vancouver, BC!!!!

Payback for our N Texas winter :O)


Oh I agree 100%... I would love to see downtown Vancouver get a couple feet of snow... almost as good as Toronto getting a few feet :)
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I sure hope so after what came thru here today... wholly crud.. its was howling thru here today.

They already have avalanche warnings up in the hills here. Going to be a huge Ski season on the Island.


more on the way big fish much much more
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I sure hope so after what came thru here today... wholly crud.. its was howling thru here today.

They already have avalanche warnings up in the hills here. Going to be a huge Ski season on the Island.

And on Main Street in Vancouver, BC!!!!

Payback for our N Texas winter :O)
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
15 or 60 on friday big fish but ya may get yer wish after that


I sure hope so after what came thru here today... wholly crud.. its was howling thru here today.

They already have avalanche warnings up in the hills here. Going to be a huge Ski season on the Island.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I am disappointed... I don't see any snow forecast for Toronto :(
15 or 60 on friday big fish but ya may get yer wish after that
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Well at least we have 93L out their to at least talk about....
You're telling me! We are feeling it, it's been raining all day long here on the Island of the enchantment!!!
Member Since: July 31, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 730
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


i see cimss took invest down


I am disappointed... I don't see any snow forecast for Toronto :(
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i see cimss took invest down
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I hope you laughed a little bit Mark!
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Those people in Indonesia have the worst of luck. They have earth quakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
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Quoting NavarreMark:


The hurrican season is over. Time for the celebrating to begin. Child like behavour will commence as of this point.



No way! Link
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Quoting pilotguy1:
This blog is amazing in it's childishness.
And most of the childishness comes from adults.So please don't add to it.
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Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
From 25 years ago next week, Kiss Me Kate.

Kates track looks like a c,and It looks like Kate was circling Florida like a shark.Here comes JAWS!!!!!!!!
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I like pancakes with butter and maple syrup.
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Video by James Reynolds(typhoonfury)of Mt. Merapi this morning.

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2010/11/09/vo.indo.mt.merapi.ash.cnn
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Quoting pilotguy1:
This blog is amazing in it's childishness.


Thanks for noticing. Any wisdom to impart?
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View of Mount Merapi this morning dr Boyolali market. (Jam5.52)

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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Thanks Chicklit, I vote aye, on prop. T&A. LMAO
We need to find a hot V.P. candidate to run with Palin....at least then the commercials will be worth watching!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
and she will smile while doing it too


U betcha!! Momma Grizzly has this tank thing down!
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Quoting McBill:


Nah, I think Palin would look pretty good driving a tank.

and she will smile while doing it too
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Quoting Chicklit:

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/11/mount_merapis_eruptions.html
She's on the T&A ticket.
Good for stewardess, not so much for prez. unless you think you're going to get lucky.
Then you're just stupid, either way.


Thanks Chicklit, I vote aye, on prop. T&A. LMAO
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ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
700 PM EST TUE NOV 9 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

1. DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS OVER PORTIONS OF THE NORTHERN
LEEWARD ISLANDS...PUERTO RICO...AND ADJACENT WATERS ARE ASSOCIATED
WITH A WEAK AREA OF LOW PRESSURE AND A SURFACE TROUGH.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE ONLY MARGINALLY FAVORABLE...AND
DEVELOPMENT...IF ANY...OF THIS DISTURBANCE SHOULD BE SLOW TO OCCUR.
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES SLOWLY
NORTHWARD. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL IS
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE OVER PORTIONS OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
AND PUERTO RICO DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER CANGIALOSI
NNNN

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21938
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21938
Thanks, Doug.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21938
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Quoting Chicklit:
Hi Grothar, been there done that and still cannot pronounce it. There is a circle in Dante's hell for linguists who cannot grapple with and master a word.


Don't feel badly, must be a big circle. LOL
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Quoting Chicklit:


93L (gasp!)
Well at least we have 93L out their to at least talk about....
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401. DougL
Just got back from Haiti, was west of Petit Goave securing some vessels. Early Friday Morning strong seas and great lighting show as Tomas moved over Gulf of Gonave as what might have been the first hurricane in history in the Gulf. This video was taken from Canal Sud looking N at first light. rare to see these kind of seas, and very glad Tomas waited until he was through the Windward Passage to turn E, could have been devastating had he turned any earlier. Hopefully by next season we will have a web cam and weather station on line at this location.

Link
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A little comedy relief:

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93L (gasp!)
IRLoopCarib
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Quoting Chicklit:

She's on the T&A ticket.
Good for stewardess, not so much for prez. unless you think you're going to get lucky.
Then you're just stupid, either way.


ROFLMAO Now that's funny. hahahahahaha
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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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