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Active Weather Pattern Takes Hold, Popocatépetl and Pavlof Updates

17 May 2013, 11:52 am

Storm Threat Today

Rain has been falling throughout the morning in Oxford, Mississippi. Stronger storms may fire up here later on this afternoon. An upper level area of low pressure will slowly move over the region today and wrap in plenty of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.  Pockets of severe weather possible in South Dakota, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama.

The weekend will continue to stay active with a much more wide spread threat for severe weather both Saturday and Sunday.  It will most likely begin to take shape late Saturday afternoon.

Surface map for Saturday evening:

The area of concern extends from Minnesota to Kansas.

This storm may develop into a line a storms as it marches eastward and even continue into the overnight hours.  So the threat on Sunday is just slightly to the east of Saturday’s threat area.

Up until this week, the severe storms this spring have been few and far between.  With storms extending through the weekend and into next week, we may be seeing the end of that quieter pattern.

Alaskan Volcano Pavlof

Switching gears now and heading up to Aleutian Islands. This is Pavlof:

Located in the Aleutian Islands:

Latest from the Alaskan Volcano Observatory: “Pavlof Volcano continues to erupt. Lava fountaining at the summit has been observed and photographed, and a continuous ash, steam, and gas cloud generated by the activity extends downwind from the volcano for 50 to 100 km at an altitude of about 20,000 ft above sea level. This morning the cloud was carried to the southeast. Satellite images show persistent elevated surface temperatures at the summit and on the northwest flank, commensurate with the summit lava fountaining and resulting lava flow. Seismic activity remains elevated with nearly continuous tremor recorded on the seismic network.”

Fortunately, this is a remote area, volcanic ash poses a great danger to aircrafts and flights heading towards Asia are having to plan accordingly.

Mexican Volcano Popocatépetl

Another giant is sleeping with our neighbors to the South and unlike Povlof, it is in a much more highly populated area. From “One of the world’s largest volcanoes, reaching over three miles high at 17,887 feet, “Popo” is only overshadowed by its dormant (but not extinct) neighbor volcano Pico de Orizaba, which is the third highest peak in North America at 18,491 feet. The majesty of these two geological wonders cradle Mexico City and its neighboring boroughs, namely Puebla, a major agricultural center. A 2012 census determined that the area was home to more than 19 million people, but estimates as high as 22 million have also been cited. The official number makes this area the 10th most heavily populated region in the world; the higher estimate would qualify it as the fifth most populated region, behind Tokyo, Jakarta, Seoul, and Delhi respectively. Earlier this week, Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center raised the alert level for Popocatépetl to “Yellow Phase III,” which is the fifth greatest of seven levels; the highest alert is, logically, “Red Phase II.” Joking aside, rising seismic activity, plumes of smoke and steam, and the reported melting of the glacial peak due to rising ground temperatures suggest Popo is ready to go loco.”

If Popo were to erupt, not only would it result in a major loss of life but also a huge economic blow to the country and potentially the world with so many commodities in this area.

Check back for more updates this weekend.

Gretchen Mishek

2 responses to “Active Weather Pattern Takes Hold, Popocatépetl and Pavlof Updates

  1. Pavlof is in the Alaskan Peninsula, not the Aleutian Islands. My son served at the NWS Cold Bay when Pavlof last erupted and witnessed a 20000′ eruption of steam and ash. We visited him soon after that and witnessed some steam and smoke when we flew over it, but nothing as spectacular as he had seen from the WOS.

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