Photo of the Week: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Dirty Thunderstorm
The Asahi Shimbun/Gettyclick to enlarge
Mount Sakurajima erupted in Japan on Tuesday, sending a plume of smoke rising more than 16,000 feet into the air. It was an astonishing sight, followed by something equally amazing.
This remarkable image shows a dirty thunderstorm raging within Showa crater on the southeastern side of the 3,665-foot volcano. Such storms occur when immense bubbles of gas pop inside the volcano, causing small but powerful explosions of incandescent rock and ash that fly hundreds of feet per second. All that ash creates friction, which creates static electricity. And that is what causes the lightning encircling the eruption.
Dirty thunderstorms typically are rare, but they’re common at Mount Sakurajima. The volcano has been at alert level three (out of five) since February, when authorities closed a 1.2-mile radius around the crater, and has seen nearly 50 eruptions this year. So the odds are it won’t be long before the mountain puts on another amazing show.
Watch Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Spew Lava Into The Pacific Ocean
It’s impossible to predict how long it will last.
The Huffington Post 07/29/2016
Thrill-seekers are flocking to the Hawaii coast, where lava is flowing from the Kilauea Volcano into the Pacific Ocean for the first time since 2013.
The lava stream spanned 6.5 miles when it reached the water on Tuesday morning, CNN reports. The flow started in May.
Plumes of steam can be seen rising from the coast as the lava crashes into the water and begins cooling into rock.
Janet Babb, a spokeswoman for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that it is impossible to predict exactly how long the stream will last. Kilauea has been active since 1983.
The natural wonder has quickly become a destination for people hoping to catch a glimpse of the lava as it reaches the ocean.