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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196. xcool
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Quoting Alan83:


Oh sorry...i wasn't sure what neck on the woods really meant... i thought you were talking about more rain heading to the island.


An American expression, apparently. How are things on Curacao? Would it be wise to avoid visiting for a day?
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Happy Birthday Marines
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Quoting largeeyes:


Are you calling me a blob?

I'm heading to Bonaire, which is your neighbor...first time.


Oh sorry...i wasn't sure what neck on the woods really meant... i thought you were talking about more rain heading to the island.
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191. xcool
lol
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Quoting BahaHurican:
I remember u were asking about the ABCs earlier in the season, but thought u'd decided not to go anymore.... have fun, take picks, post same to blog!

L8r...


Yep, deciding on time of year back then, what a memory! Decided to wait until November due to the active hurricane season, only to have Bonaire and Curacao buzzed last week. It would have been safer in early September!!!! Sheesh..
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Quoting Neapolitan:

And it hurts atheists when folks say this is a Christian nation. It hurts Muslims, too. And Buddhists. And Jews. And Wiccans. And Hindus. And Jainists, Sikhs, Zoroasts, Shintoists, and American citizens practicing any of a hundred other religions..

The bottom line, Reed, is this: there's a big, beautiful world out there, and it's full of billions of beautiful people, the majority of whom do not look like you, live like you, talk like you, worship like you, or think like you...and who wouldn't want it any other way. The sooner you and others acknowledge that, the sooner we as a nation can move ahead and stay relevant in a world that demands we not be so insular and backward in our collective thinking.


Actually, Reed is correct, and while the above post makes sense in very many ways, we sould not forget that we do live in an insular society. We, whoever we may be, are about..well...us.

This is a nation under God. That is the Christian God, and while we have become tolerant, very much and rightly so of the other beautiful people and their beliefs, this is still a Christian country under a Christian God with what is supposed to be a God fearing president and government that makes decisions accordingly. That is STILL the constitution.

You thinking taking God out od schools has helped?

Well, do ya?
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Where exactly is Rhode Island anyway? (;

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Quoting largeeyes:


It's a dive trip, solely to Bonaire, though I guess it's possible we island hop over to Curacao for a day.
I remember u were asking about the ABCs earlier in the season, but thought u'd decided not to go anymore.... have fun, take picks, post same to blog!

L8r...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22687
I gotta head out, ya'll.

Do well, keep civility alive, etc....

Have a good afternoon, and sure hope whatever else forms out there [I think we're gonna get one more] doesn't do much damage....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22687
Quoting BahaHurican:
Hey, I was wondering if u were still going.... r u cruising, or otherwise?


It's a dive trip, solely to Bonaire, though I guess it's possible we island hop over to Curacao for a day.
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Quoting tornadodude:


but nobody cares about Rhode Island.....

haha just playing (:
LOL!!...exactly my point
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Quoting tornadodude:


but nobody cares about Rhode Island.....

haha just playing (:
See, that's how we got off topic in the first place.... lol

Quoting Bordonaro:

The Central CONUS will pay for this warm spell. Notice all that cold air in Canada? Guess where it is going later this week?
It's only 79 here in Nassau... amazingly small gradient over that distance... but keep in mind temps in the intermtn west [northern tier] have been cold all day... doubt they got much above freezing, with snow flurries this a.m....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22687
Quoting hurristat:


haha no school!


haha

where are you from?
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Quoting Alan83:



What will be down in my neck of the woods starting saturday? 93L or that blob that will be soon approaching the windward islands?


Are you calling me a blob?

I'm heading to Bonaire, which is your neighbor...first time.
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Quoting tornadodude:


back down to us, and accuweather notes potential for an ice storm across the upper midwest next week, guess we'll see


haha no school!
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Quoting Bordonaro:

Quotes of Twitter on Haiti, now we have cholera and civil unrest O(

haitinews2000: Student ethnology burning posters Jude Celestin and install, the street that passes in front of faculty, a coffin with the picture candidate units.

mediahacker: At least 544 dead from #cholera in #Haiti, according to latest figures from Ministry of Health.

People if you want to talk about society, health, humans rights,and/or hunger problems, please do another blog!!!!

this is a weather blog only!!!

Quoting tatoprweather:


Don't you realized that today is all about Haiti but weather.


yeah! it just because the 93L isn't in the GOM or near EC!!! HAHAHAHA

wishcasters!!!
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Quoting rmbjoe1954:



Yes, Politics and Religion, the origin of all historical wars. It may be peaceful here, but only for the moment; then all heck can and will break loose. Human nature has not changed my friends.
I disagree. Unless u count "hegemony" as politics, in which case I agree. IMO most wars are fought over money and power. Hegemony: the political, economic, ideological or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups, regardless of the explicit consent of the latter. [Wiki it.]

Seems 2 me what we r looking for as a way of running this blog is counterintuitive to "human nature" in some ways. Check out Golding's Lord of the Flies to see 1 writer's take on it.

This is why, despite its imperfections, the US is in some ways a surprising triumph of morality over immorality - good over evil. We don't have too many examples where the downtrodden are not only uplifted by the descendents of the trodders but also where the trodden upon don't rise up and destroy their oppressors and their descendents. I guess that's why I get depressed with the "them vs. us" talk sometimes... as long as it doesn't hit the US, it was a slow season....

I think this blog, despite its imperfections, has come a long way in moving towards tolerance of other viewpoints, and equally important, IMO, of using the scientific method more constructively.

Sure hope we can keep it up once the 2010 ATL season "goes south".... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22687
i will go with 62-38 for one more
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Quoting hurristat:
For those who were wondering last night (I think tornadodude, Korithe, and one other (sorry if I didn't remember your name)), I wrote a paper on the effect of radar on the outcome of world war 2


I'd be really interested in reading it, if you'd like to share, just send me a personal message
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For those who were wondering last night (I think tornadodude, Korithe, and one other (sorry if I didn't remember your name)), I wrote a paper on the effect of radar on the outcome of world war 2
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Quoting Bordonaro:

The Central CONUS will pay for this warm spell. Notice all that cold air in Canada? Guess where it is going later this week?


back down to us, and accuweather notes potential for an ice storm across the upper midwest next week, guess we'll see
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Quoting RipplinH2O:
Concur, but a civil discussion on the government of rhode island would have been equally as relevant...my only point.


but nobody cares about Rhode Island.....

haha just playing (:
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Quoting tornadodude:


agreed!

it's 72 here (:

The Central CONUS will pay for this warm spell. Notice all that cold air in Canada? Guess where it is going later this week?
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting jeffs713:
Admin may see it differently. Just as an FYI.

As far as religous editorials go, I am amazed how generally civil everyone was being. Yes, some people flew off the handle, but they calmed down fairly quickly, and I didn't see many irrational posts. I saw some charged emotions, but nothing completely off-the-charts.
Concur, but a civil discussion on the government of rhode island would have been equally relevant...my only point.
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Quoting Minnemike:
nearing 70F here in Mpls. pretty nice on this side of the next super trough!


agreed!

it's 72 here (:
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950mb low:

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Quoting jeffs713:

And I just tossed in my $.02, too. I assume you have funds set aside for gas and potential repairs? (along with a reliable cell phone?)


replied to it ha

and yeah, I have some, but the majority of my time this winter will be spent working for my parents. I can make about $100 a night working for them at our steak house
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nearing 70F here in Mpls. pretty nice on this side of the next super trough!
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Quoting Bordonaro:

Quotes of Twitter on Haiti, now we have cholera and civil unrest O(

haitinews2000: Student ethnology burning posters Jude Celestin and install, the street that passes in front of faculty, a coffin with the picture candidate units.

mediahacker: At least 544 dead from #cholera in #Haiti, according to latest figures from Ministry of Health.

... And the next stage of Haiti's decline begins.
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Quoting rmbjoe1954:



Yes, Politics and Religion, the origin of all historical wars. It may be peaceful here, but only for the moment; then all heck can and will break loose. Human nature has not changed my friends.

Truer words have not been spoken. +1
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Quoting tatoprweather:


Don't you realized that today is all about Haiti but weather.

Quotes of Twitter on Haiti, now we have cholera and civil unrest O(

haitinews2000: Student ethnology burning posters Jude Celestin and install, the street that passes in front of faculty, a coffin with the picture candidate units.

mediahacker: At least 544 dead from #cholera in #Haiti, according to latest figures from Ministry of Health.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting tornadodude:
Good afternoon everyone


I've updated my blog, which lists what I would like to do/acquire for next seasons storm chasing, I welcome any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and criticism.

thanks!

blog

And I just tossed in my $.02, too. I assume you have funds set aside for gas and potential repairs? (along with a reliable cell phone?)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffs713:
Admin may see it differently. Just as an FYI.

As far as religous editorials go, I am amazed how generally civil everyone was being. Yes, some people flew off the handle, but they calmed down fairly quickly, and I didn't see many irrational posts. I saw some charged emotions, but nothing completely off-the-charts.



Yes, Politics and Religion, the origin of all historical wars. It may be peaceful here, but only for the moment; then all heck can and will break loose. Human nature has not changed my friends.
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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

:-)
Tolerance and respect from one another is what counts, "believes" depends on cultural backgrounds and is a private matter...
Quoting Minnemike:
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...
Tolerance and respect to one another is what counts, "believes" are private matters, those are issuess that depends a lot on cultural and religious backgrounds...An atheist, Christian, Muslim, hindus or whatever for me doesn't make any difference, they are all my fellow humanbeings.Just reading the post here makes you wonder why there is so much turmoil on this planet, bad news for the world.
Member Since: July 31, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 730
Quoting TORMENTOSO83:
anyone thinks that 93L will develop into something before pass over PR?


Don't you realized that today is all about Haiti but weather.
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Quoting RipplinH2O:
No, not really. Just my editorial on all the religious editorials...
Admin may see it differently. Just as an FYI.

As far as religous editorials go, I am amazed how generally civil everyone was being. Yes, some people flew off the handle, but they calmed down fairly quickly, and I didn't see many irrational posts. I saw some charged emotions, but nothing completely off-the-charts.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good afternoon everyone


I've updated my blog, which lists what I would like to do/acquire for next seasons storm chasing, I welcome any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and criticism.

thanks!

blog
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffs713:
145. Really? So by hitting !-ing others 117 times, you are actually !-ing yourself as a habitual !-er?
No, not really. Just my editorial on all the religious editorials...
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anyone thinks that 93L will develop into something before pass over PR?
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145. Really? So by !-ing others 117 times, you are actually !-ing yourself as a habitual !-er?
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Hmm, looking at the 1910-2010 images I'm trying to figure out which storms this year would go unnoted in 1910. Some of them have potential but like... was Julia strong enough close enough to the Cape Verdes that it'd be picked up? Fiona close enough to the islands? It does seem like that maybe up to about 4 of those storms could have been missed though. Gaston's the only one I'd guarantee.
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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

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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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