Iceland volcanic ash may clog northern UK skies for days

STOCKHOLM (BestGrowthStock) – Fresh ash from an erupting Icelandic volcano could cloud airspace over northern Britain for the next few days following a change in the direction of the wind, Iceland’s meteorological office said on Tuesday.

The volcano, located under a glacier about 120 KM (75 Miles) southeast of the capital Reykjavik, started erupting last month and wrought travel chaos across Europe for nearly a week as authorities grounded aircraft due to a cloud of ash.

The volcano has continued to erupt steadily, spewing both lava and ash, but winds had confined most of the menacing ash to an area over Iceland or closer to the volcano.

“What has changed mainly is the wind direction,” Sigurlaug Hjaltadottir, a geophysicist at Iceland’s meteorological office, told Reuters.

Winds are now blowing from the northwest, sending the ash cloud southeast toward the northern part of Britain, she said.

“The wind will remain in the same direction at least until Thursday. It may change at the beginning of the next week. It could continue like this for the next few days,” she added.

Ireland closed its airports for several hours on Tuesday morning but planned to resume flights from 1200 GMT. However, authorities warned ash could cause more disruptions later in the week and periodically throughout the summer.

Hjaltadottir said the column of ash rising from the volcano was about four or five kilometers high, still lower than previous readings of six to 11 km when it started erupting.

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Iceland volcanic ash may clog northern UK skies for days