Pavlof Volcano in Alaska Erupts Sending Ash Upwards 20,000 Feet

The Pavlof Volcano, which is about 600 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Aleutian Islands, erupted at 4:18 p.m. local time on Sunday, March 27th. The eruption sent ash 20,000 feet up in the air and prompted flight warnings according to authorities. Ash was seen generally moving north-to-northeast on infrared satellite imagery both immediately after the eruption (below) and earlier today (above). Seismic activity was also reported after the quake. A volcano alert warning remained in effect early Monday morning and the aviation warning color code remains red, its highest level.


Satellite image showing strong ash signal (blue) extending more than 500 km (300 mi), north-northeast from Pavlof, 4:19 am AKDT (12:19 UTC), Monday, March 28, 2016. (Image courtesy of AVO/USGS)

The volcano last erupted in November 2014.  The (USGS) agency says the volcano, which is about 4.4 miles in diameter, has had 40 known eruptions and “is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc.” A previous eruption in 2013 sent ash plumes rising 27,000 feet. Other eruptions have generated ash plumes as high as 49,000 feet. The community closest to the volcano is Cold Bay, which is about 37 miles southwest of it.

Read more at Vencore Weather

26 thoughts on “Pavlof Volcano in Alaska Erupts Sending Ash Upwards 20,000 Feet

      • Hi Marcus, thanks for your support elsewhere.
        Popocatepetl means smoking mountain, I’m told that over-there there is wide choice of the smoking stuff available at reasonable prices.

      • Now combine these particulate-spewers with a solar minimum and an impending La Nina–I think we’ll start splitting wood and buy some snowshoes early! Looks like I don’t get NEXT winter “off!” :-o

  1. Will this darken ice and show i the northern hemisphere and cause melting?
    Who monitors albiedos for this?

    • J

      Will this darken ice and show i the northern hemisphere and cause melting?
      Who monitors [albedos] for this?

      Well, “all” of the land ice across North America and Siberia will melt out through the upcoming March-July time frame, so what soot falls on the land ice will, at most, merely accelerate the melting only a few days. Greenland has the only significant land cie that doesn’t melt each summer, so that little bit of 2.0 Mkm^2 of the earth’s 514 Mkm^2 total area “might be” affected by becoming “a little bit darker”, but Greenland is a long way around the longitude lines from this volcano.

      Sea ice: The Arctic sea ice is at its yearly maximum of 12- 14.0 Mkm^2 right now, and that sea ice “might become” a little bit darker. But! All of the sea ice below latitude 72-73 north melts out quickly in March-April-May. So, at worst, this vanishing bit of sea ice might melt a few days earlier than usual. Then, the sea is as dark as always is. North of 72-73 latitude, the melting continues until mid-August, when new ice and snow begin covering the sea ice and melt ponds. By that time, the dark soot will be deep under the surface layers and new ice and will not affect further heat absoption.

      Assume the volcano continues for several months of significant deposits across significant areas. Then, the deep dark layer of sea ice will slightly accelerate melting for the first year, then less the second, then vanishing towards nothing since less than 10% of sea ice is older than 3 years.

  2. Doesn’t volcanic activity increase during solar minimums? Maybe this is the first of many over the next few years.

    • Increased volcanic activity could be a signature of an approaching solar grand minimum. I have come to wonder if part of the drop into colder temps during a GM is related to a greater likelihood of experiencing large eruptions. A large eruption would then reinforce the other factors that cause temperature drops during the GM events.

    • I believe that was chicken entrails. And Turkish coffee grounds….or was that a crystal twirling on a gold thread over a pregnant poodle?

  3. With these two volcanoes, was there any change in temperature at local, regional and global scales? Is it going to create flooding? Or temperature data is going to be manipulated to show a continous rise?

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • As far as I can tell, Pavlof hasn’t caused nearly as much media coverage as did in 2010. Based on that very shaky metric, I would guess that it won’t have much effect on the climate. Its previous eruptions spewed material higher in the atmosphere and didn’t seem to have much effect on the climate.

      Here’s what Chip Knappenberger said:

      Preliminarily, the eruption does not seem to be large enough or well positioned such as to induce a large-scale climate impact … link

      • The higher latitude volcanic activity: will it affect the circumpolar vortex and polar jet stream and thus middle latitude weather?

        Also, in the comment section, another volcano has been reported. What about this?

        How they influence the weather?

        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  4. Viewed from the Japanese Himawari-8 geostationary weather satellite:
    [video src="" /]

    A full disc image (5500 x 5500 pixels; 16Mb) puts the scale of the event into perspective.

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