Ancient Ash From 1912 Novarupta Explosion Swept Into Alaska Air by Strong Winds

11/01/2012 05:03 pm ET Updated Jan 01, 2013
FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2006 file webcam photo from the Alaska Volcano Observatory's Augustine Island webcam shows steam risi
FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2006 file webcam photo from the Alaska Volcano Observatory's Augustine Island webcam shows steam rising from Augustine Volcano 75 miles southwest of Homer, Alaska. A smog-like haze that hung over part of Alaskaís Kodiak Island this week was courtesy of a volcanic eruption 100 years ago. The National Weather Service said strong winds and a lack of snow helped to stir up ash from the 1912 eruption of Novarupta, the largest volcanic blast of the 20th century. (AP Photo/Alaska Volcano Observatory, File)

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 ...

Read the complete story now at Alaska Dispatch.