Friday, January 30, 2009

Traveling in AK: Volcanic Eruptions

-- cue Indiana Jones theme music--

Travels continues to be my biggest Alaskan adventure. I am about to set off on three weeks of travel around the last frontier, and a volcano is planning to toy with my travel plans.

Redoubt is rumbling like she did in 89, so an eruption is imminent. Perched 50 miles west of Anchorage, the ash plume will impact air travel around Anchorage, our state's transportation hub. The last time she blew from Dec '89 to April '90. Ash settled far and wide along the Aleutian chain and on up into interior around Fairbanks.

My travels have me leaving the Emerald Isle for -40 degree weather in Fairbanks. The last time I was in Fairbanks was in late summer 2004, and it was 80 degrees. heh. My most anticipated highlight of the trip is the possibility of seeing Northern Lights. My camera is packed.

I return to Anchorage to spend a week thawing in single digit (but above 0) degree weather while working at Elmendorf AFB. Throughout my travels, my company has equipped me with an air mask and plastic bags for my electronics.

For the homefront, we have water, matches, batteries, flashlights, new air filters for the cars, plenty of dog food and that of the human variety. Like any storm, we'll hunker down and limit our outdoor activities for a while. Tok will be agitated, but I am sure he will cope.
To watch Redoubt:

Redoubt Volcano Latest Observations:

Intense seismicity continues at Redoubt this afternoon. Clear webcam views, satellite, and radar data from earlier today indicate that the volcano has not yet erupted.
Clouds have moved in to obscure the webcam view over the last hour.
An AVO observation flight returned in the last hour and reports no sign of ash emission, but observed significant steaming from a new melt depression at the mouth of the summit crater near the vent area of the 1989-90 eruption.

The Aviation Color Code remains at ORANGE and the Volcano Alert Level remains at WATCH.


David said...

Wow...what a picture!

Becca and Jason said...

So not happy about the timing of this stupid volcano! I can understand a snow storm messing with travel plans in February, but who thinks of a volcano!? I just want to go on vacation!
Hope your travel isn't too impacted - I don't think it'd be fun to get stuck in Fairbanks!