Grímsvötn Volcano Showing Plume - May 22.
The most active Icelandic volcano Grimsvötn erupted last Saturday sending a plume of ash, steam and smoke 20km into the air. Immediately after the event, the government enacted a no-fly zone with a radius of 220km and closed the airport of Reykjavik.
The massive ash cloud covering Iceland was at first not expected to head towards Europe, but was blowing north-west towards Greenland instead. But due to changing weather conditions with winds blowing south on Tuesday, over 250 flights from and to Scotland had been canceled. Also northern European countries like Norway, Sweden and Denmark had to reduce the number of flights due to safety reasons. On Wednesday, the ash plume reached the northern part of Germany causing the airports of Hamburg and Bremen to shut down. Berlin and Hanover may also be affected. With today’s weather conditions it’s difficult to predict which European countries will be affected next. During this week, the ash cloud is assumed to reach western Parts of France and northern Parts of Spain.
Fears arose that the ash plume could have an analogical massive effect on international air traffic like last year’s eruption of the Eyjafjalla volcano in Iceland. Experts however assume, that Grimsvotn was likely to have much less of an effect on air traffic. Unlike last April when the UK was caught in a dead calm of high pressure that prevented the dispersal of particles, the present windy and wet weather was helping to disperse the cloud from Iceland’s volcano. The intensity of the eruption is also diminishing. The height of the column of ash coming out of the volcano had reduced from 20km on Sunday to around 5km on Tuesday.
(Source:Reuters, Guardian, NZZ)
Further Information on the Grimsvötn eruption: