Indonesian volcano may cut President's visit short

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

Share this Blog
3
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 297 - 247

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12Blog Index

Quoting Jeff9641:


OBAMA and his Socialism may just do it if he's in office another 4 years.
The far right,extremists are throwing to the drain a nice weather blog.. Is ridiculous, are you "right wingers" aware that many people here come from different countries and we couldn't care less about your "little political or religious problems". Go to a "party and drink some tea", relax!I wonder if the administration can do something about it? I think this is going to far...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting caneswatch:


Just drop it, please. I mean c'mon, we're all better than this. If you want to go talk about poltics and religion, as I am done with this, go to another blog.


... but I was agreeing with you in general and just expressing my opinion ... but yes, this is not really the right place for this.
Member Since: June 3, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 64
Quoting hurristat:
In general, the US is a conservative country, the government is far behind that of other governments when it comes to social programs. Not surprised that there is a lot of resistance to the programs.
Looking at finances and the state of some of those wonderful programs, one might say that the US is ahead and some of those others have been going backwards...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
In general, the US is a conservative country, the government is far behind that of other governments when it comes to social programs. Not surprised that there is a lot of resistance to the programs.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Post 285.......Putting my posts about the Silverbacks in concrete...TampaSpin has totally been irrational lately.He used to be my Clint Eastwood..He is now my PeeWee Herman
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
288. Relix
Anyway this is a weather blog, lets stick to that ;-)
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
93I will be gone if it moves north from excessive shear...The lower CONUS is protected by strong shear in the upcoming weeks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Post #41, Reedzone....HE STARTED IT! Off with his head!
I thought it was TampaSpin... in a post around 30 -35....

Quoting Jeff9641:


Hey man I love your post but we can't go on with all this Government Spending because at some point in time it will catch up with us that is why the Republicans cleaned house last week.
I thought it was because Americans are racist.... [well, I've heard that put about elsewhere....]

Edit: no, I am taking this off. I am not going down that road again...


Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22736
I think 93l will be near 0% at 7 pm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting brohavwx:


I agree ... but as a Christian I tend to view comments about the 'Christian God' as paramount to Christian extremist ... there is ONE 'God', which is simply the English TRANSLATION of Allah (Muslims), Abba, Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim (Jewish), Gud (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish), Jumala (Finnish), Dieu (French), Gott (German), Guo (Icelandic), Iddio (Italian), Deus (Portuguese), Dios (Spanish).

Now are you going to go tell someone from Finland, sorry, but Jumala is not the Christian God.


Just drop it, please. I mean c'mon, we're all better than this. If you want to go talk about poltics and religion, as I am done with this, go to another blog.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BTW, anyone watching the Tropical Atlantic ... same place Tomas came from .., are we over yet for 2010?
Member Since: June 3, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 64
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
I see the Silverbacks are at it again......Beating their chests, grunting, scratching...And most disgusting, marking their territory.
*tinkle,tinkle*
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Jeff....Only about 12 days out of the year are non-manhater days...I won't go into it any further
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting caneswatch:


Wrong. This is a nation where all religions are accepted. This is not just a Christian nation, but a nation of Atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, Hebrews, and Muslims.


I agree ... but as a Christian I tend to view comments about the 'Christian God' as paramount to Christian extremist ... there is ONE 'God', which is simply the English TRANSLATION of Allah (Muslims), Abba, Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim (Jewish), Gud (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish), Jumala (Finnish), Dieu (French), Gott (German), Guo (Icelandic), Iddio (Italian), Deus (Portuguese), Dios (Spanish).

Now are you going to go tell someone from Finland, sorry, but Jumala is not the Christian God.
Member Since: June 3, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 64
I see the Silverbacks are at it again......Beating their chests, grunting, scratching...And most disgusting, marking their territory.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jeff9641:


Hey man I love your post but we can't go on with all this Government Spending because at some point in time it will catch up with us that is why the Republicans cleaned house last week.


Now, now Jeff, Obama can't fix it in two years. BTW, post 262 wasn't necessary, it was extremely unnecessary.

And one more thing, can we please get back to weather before someone goes off, like me?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good Lord, What a difference 2 years can make, In 2008 when Obama was elected President of THE United States it was celebrated like the Second coming of Christ among the majority as no other US President- elect received as many popular votes as him, now it appears that most demonize and set out to destroy him, basically just a typical trend in most countries, not only the US from what I can tell.
I'm not a US citizen, nor am I for Obama or anyone else , but as I see it this world today, I don't care who was elected President , the US or world wouldn't have been any better off today, basically as far as I'm concerned an unnecessary war in Iraq and unrest in the world in general weakened the economy. I say gave Obama a break, sometimes he or others at the top really don't deserved what is being thrown at them, yes the buck stops with him, but I guess the buck must have jumped over some of the others, just my 2cents for today, but I guess it ain't worth a bucket of cow manure!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11557
Post #41, Reedzone....HE STARTED IT! Off with his head!
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
262. Is that really necessary?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Also, in a court of law...We place our hand on a bible? I wonder why that is?
A person can place their hand over a Quran, Torah, or any other religous text.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Interesting read

It is uncertain how many Presidents used a Bible or added the words "So help me God" at the end of the oath, or in their acceptance of the oath, as neither is required by law; unlike many other federal oaths which do include the phrase "So help me God." There is currently debate as to whether or not George Washington, the first president, added the phrase to his acceptance of the oath. All contemporary sources fail to mention Washington as adding a religious codicil to his acceptance.

Link
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11557
I'm done. Gonna go watch my Kid play Soccer. Go Gators!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


No.

This year has been hyperactive...Just maybe not as much as some of the other seasons.


Hyperactive compared to recorded history, yes.

Hyperactive compared to the past 16 years, no.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The progressives in this country will destroy it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Also, in a court of law...We place our hand on a bible? I wonder why that is?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Why at the end of the oath to assume public office do they say "So help me God"?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting oracle28:
Interesting ACE observation:

Although 2010 is a hyperactive year, it's only 8th in the past 16 years (going back to 1995).

I guess this year has been merely average, compared to the time-frame of post-1994.


No.

This year has been hyperactive...Just maybe not as much as some of the other seasons.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32862
Hey guess what, guys?

THIS BLOG = WEATHER

THIS BLOG + RELIGIOUS AND OFF-TOPIC STUFF = XXXX

Admin is going to start removing posts off-topic, and banning people.

So, I'd suggest we get back to weather, please? :)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32862
230 Autistic2 "Please burn All YOUR money that states in God we trust. It really is a rather offensive object for you to have."

Nah, 'd cause too much needless Global*Warming to melt those coins into such a highly oxidative state.
I'm willin' to take the paper that you disdain though. "Recycle and Reuse"

* Don' blame me, Autistic2 brought it up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:

1) I'm a United States citizen.
2) I am not a Christian.
3) Therefore, this is not a Christian nation.

Or, more precisely, not just a Christian nation; inasmuch as a nation is the sum total of its citizens, the United States is also a Muslim nation, and a Hindu nation, and a Buddhist nation, and an agnostic nation, and an atheist nation, and a Rastafarian nation, and a Wiccan nation, and so on. And that's not because some [Christians] have "become very tolerant"; it's because the United States is, and always has been, made up of people from many different cultures, with many different beliefs, and worshipping many different deities (or none at all)--and that's as it should be. What people need to realize is that for every Christian who feels he or she is an adherent to the one and only true religion, there are many others who feel that exact same devotion and certainty for their own deity, whether that be Allah, Zeus, Haile Selassie, Rama, Nirankar, Tsukihi, or Paris Hilton. I profoundly hope that someday all will come to understand that basic truth; the country and the planet would be far better off for it... :-\

Can I +1 more than say... a dozen times? Great post!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
COEXIST

And now back to today's almost completely off-topic blog...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 297 - 247

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

Local Weather

Overcast
43 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron