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Volcano Weather

The following models are part of an experiment being conducted by the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. The information should not be relied upon.

Vog Measurement and Prediction

"Vog" is a mixture of gasses mainly composed of surfur dioxide (SO2) and sulfate (SO4) emitted from volcanos or vents. SO2 reacts with moisture and oxygen to produce a visible aerosol of SO4. The term vog comes from the combination of "volcanic" and "smog".

Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanos, has been erupting continuosly since 1983 and vents gas and vog from three locations: Halema`uma`u Crater, Pu“u O`o, and from the coastline where the lava flows into the ocean. Typically, Hawai`i’s tradewinds blow most of this pollution out to sea and away from civilization. However, the poisonous gasses sometimes blanket the Big Island, especially during times of slack winds. Even worse occurs when southerly Kona winds push the vog over the Big Island, sometimes drifting across the other neighboring islands of Maui, Lana`i, and Moloka`i, rarely reaching O`ahu, Kaua`i, and Ni`ihau.

Not only can the chemicals in vog damage the environment, but humans, other animals, and even plants can be harmed by these gasses.