Friday, March 27, 2009

Mt. Redoubt volcano continues to erupt in Alaska

Those of us thousands of miles away may not pay much attention to a volcano in Alaska, but Mt. Redoubt is not playing around with the folks southwest of Anchorage. Since last weekend, Redoubt has erupted numerous times, at least a handful of these eruptions have spewed ash and steam 50,000 feet or higher into the sky. The latest eruption occurred at 11:40am CDT today (8:40am Alaksa DT) with the ash going up to 50,000 feet once again.

NWS Doppler radar captured this eruption, which I have linked above. Notice the spot just left of the image center as it loops and you'll see the higher reflectivities (brighter colors) appear in a circular fashion - that's Redoubt blowing her top! Ash suspended below 30,000 feet is staying west of Anchorage (located northeast of the volcano and just above and right of the image center), but above 30,000 feet, the ash is spreading towards Anchorage, disrupting air travel significantly. If any of that ash gets in a jet engine, you've got real trouble. The last major eruption sequence for Redoubt was 20 years ago at it lasted for 5 months! It will be interesting to see how long this keeps up this time.

For more on Redoubt's activity, visit this exceptional link to the Alaska Volcano Observatory's Mt. Redoubt page.

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