December 22, 2011

how to indentify volcanic ash in the sky

The volcanic ash has been pretty good lately - meaning there hasn't been much for weeks.

But yesterday it blew in rather quickly. The skies here are bright blue, so when it gets hazy, it's usually ash. I could tell it was blowing in because there are a few telltale signs.

ONE: Gray, Hazy Skies

This is what the sky looked like when I went out to hang up some clothes...
sky still mostly blue, but telltale hazy gray circle around the sun (some ash)
This was the sky a half hour later when I went back out to take them off the line (yes, sometimes they dry that fast here in the blustery desert)...
obviously hazy gray sky (ashy)

TWO: Blustery Winds

When the clothes go horizontal on the line, this may be an indicator that ash is blowing in...

THREE: Gray Horizon

sky may be blue, but gets noticably grayer towards the horizon

FOUR: Completely Gray Skies

Within hours, the sky can turn almost completely gray - no blue left to be seen. This is ash.

And when the sun becomes one big, hazy gray orb....'s time to bring the kids in, shut the windows, and have some mate while remarking to one other, "Wow, did you see the ash today?"

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