Strong winds swept old ash from the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century into the atmosphere Tuesday, creating flight hazards across the Gulf of Alaska and Kodiak Island, the second-largest island in the U.S.
Powerful northwest winds funneled through the mountains at the Katmai Bay, sending ash around 4,000 feet into the sky southeast toward Kodiak.
Brian Hagenbuch, general meteorologist at the National Weather Service Anchorage office, was the first to spot the ash. "When the sun came up yesterday, I noticed it looked foggy on the Larson Bay camera," one of many cameras set up by the FAA to monitor weather conditions. But as the sun continued to rise, he noted the fog looked smoggy and brown.
Around 10 a.m., Hagenbuch checked the visible satellite and found a "milky, dome-shaped plume." He then double-checked on infra-red equipment that is used specifically to spot ash even through cloud cover, which verified ...
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