Low-Level Eruption Continues at Pavlof Volcano

Wednesday, May 22 2013

Clouds blanket Pavlof Volcano on May 21, 2013 / Courtesy of Mitch Johnson

Heavy cloud cover over the Alaska Peninsula is making it tough for scientists to monitor Pavlof Volcano. The Alaska Volcano Observary hasn't been able to get a clear picture of the peak by satellite for almost two days.

Still, there's some indication that the eruption might be easing up a little. AVO has recorded less violent seismic rumbles at the volcano. And according to pilot reports, the ash plume is much smaller than it's been over the past two weeks -- and it's blowing out to the Bering Sea.

"The cloud cover today was up around 15,000 feet. That’s why AVO couldn’t see it," says PenAir president Danny Seybert. "We were able to see it and we were only detecting ash clouds around the 10,000 foot level."

That's good news for PenAir and for other regional airlines, which canceled flights to southwest Alaska this week over concerns that the ash would damage their planes.

Seybert says PenAir restored all of its routes today and started adding some extra planes to work off a backlog of more than 300 passengers.

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