DISCUSSION: Within the last couple of weeks, a truly prolific series of events has unfolded across far eastern sections of Sicily. This is where the summit of Mount Etna is located and where there have recently been a series of violent eruptions associated with the volcano positioned within Mount Etna. Attached above is downright dramatic and shocking footage of Mt Etna which has had 3 eruptions over roughly 3 weeks. In this particular footage, you can clearly see a plethora of rocks being propelled into the air by the blast. As a result of this violent ejection of rock and volcanic ash, much of ultimately rained down on people while they were simultaneously observing the lava flow, including members of a BBC News video crew. As can note from near the end of this footage, this was a violent event at the ground along with other serious associated consequences as well.
To be more specific, whenever there is a volcanic eruption, there are other issues which arise. Often times, in the wake of even a relatively minor volcanic eruption, there is a substantial amount of smoldering volcanic ash which becomes suspended within the middle to upper parts of the atmosphere in the vicinity and downwind of the given volcano's position. Therefore, with the corresponding direction of the prevailing wind flow upstream-to-downstream of that region, there are often major threats to the overall safety of commercial as well as private aviation interests. Thus, as volcanic ash is transported farther away from the point source of the volcanic ash plume (i.e., in this case being Mount Etna), the inherent threat to aircraft engines and overall air quality issues continues to grow as the volcanic ash plume continues to spread. Bottom line, volcanic eruptions make for multi-faceted dangers which should always be taken seriously and approached with a high degree of respect.
To learn more about other high-impact weather events occurring across Europe, be sure to click here!
©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz