Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mt. Redoubt continues to rumble

Image: TNT Online
Dante's Peak may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a volcano eruption, but it paints a really bad picture of what's going on up here in Anchorage right now.

Mount Redoubt erupted twice this morning, including a "huge" explosion around 9:30 a.m. that blew ash 65,000 feet high. The activity this morning brings the total number of eruptions for the week up to eight, since the volcano started erupting on Sunday night.

Flights out of Anchorage were canceled, but so far, everything is pretty much business as usual. Here's a little clip from the ADN:
No ash is expected to fall in Anchorage, but it may reach the upper atmosphere just south of city, Weather Service meteorologist Amy Bedal said. But those higher winds will probably be too strong and the ash particles that attain that height too light to reach the ground, she said.
Ash began falling in Homer shortly before 2 p.m. The city sent workers home early, said City Manager Walt Wrede, before a purplish plume blocked the view across Cook Inlet and the smell of sulfur wafted into town. Businesses closed up, he said. By 4:45, skies had cleared and a small sprinkling of ash covered the snow.
When the volcano last acted up in 1989, eruptions occurred over a span of four months. Nobody knows how long the current activity will last.

"We just don't know how much magma is down there that needs to get out," said AVO geophysicist Stephanie Prejead.

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