The Cleveland Volcano, on the Aleutian Islands southwest of
mainland Alaska, erupted briefly yesterday afternoon, June
19th, creating an ash cloud at an estimated height of 23,000
feet above sea level according to the Alaska Volcano
Observatory and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The
volcano is located about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage.
The observatory raised its color-coded alert for aviators to
orange, the third most serious of four levels, and warned on
its website that "additional sudden explosions of blocks
and ash are possible with little or no warning."
No activity was detected today, but the alert remained at
orange, the observatory said.
There is a concern about a more serious eruption, one that
would spew ash above 30,000 feet, as it could affect air
Satellite images of the ash cloud appeared to indicate the
cloud dissipated after about two hours.
For now, there is not a huge reason to be concerned if you're
traveling to Alaska this summer, but if you are, you should
monitor the situation. I know quite a number of members in
this forum have indicated they have booked trips to Alaska
which will occur through much of this year.
It is troubling that there is a new report that a pilot near
the volcano has now reported the ash cloud to have reached
around 35,000 feet.
Cleveland Volcano last erupted in December 2011 and has been
simmering steadily since a February 2001 eruption reportedly
sent an ash cloud to 39,000 feet.
Stay tuned. I'll update this thread as necessary.
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As of today, while there has been no evidence of further eruptive activity, elevated surface temperatures were detected at the volcano in satellite data analyzed this morning. Therefore the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) has decided to keep the volcano's alert level at "Orange."
From the Anchorage Daily News. Note the distance from Anchorage to the volcano. 940 miles.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory says in a release that satellite imagery showed a low-level ash cloud from Cleveland Volcano on Sunday.
Officials say the cloud dispersed over several hours as it tracked to the southeast, and there were no reports of it from nearby mariners or pilots.
The alert level for the volcano was raised in June after a brief eruption and a pilot reporting an ash cloud rising to 35,000 feet. There's no real-time monitoring network at the 5,675-foot volcano, which is on an uninhabited island about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage.
The observatory says additional eruptions are still possible with little warning, and ash clouds 20,000 feet above sea level are possible.
The Cleveland Volcano's alert level has been dropped to Yellow.
The current alert level of yellow means the Cleveland Volcano is continuing to exhibit signs of unrest above known background levels, but its volcanic activity has decreased significantly, at this time.
The Cleveland volcano continues to be closely monitored for possible renewed increase.
As the volcano has been at yellow since September 5, 2012, more than two weeks without new ash eruptions, I am unpinning this alert and closing this thread. Should the volcano alert level rise again, thus becoming a potential problem for Alaska travelers, we can start a new thread.