Alaska's Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is back in the news with the eruption overnight of Mt. Redoubt.
As reported in the Traveler back on January 30th, seismic activity in recent months at the 10,198 foot high volcano has suggested that an eventual eruption was likely.
Those predictions proved accurate late Sunday night. According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, an eruption of Mt. Redoubt began at approximately 22:38 local time Sunday night. Over the next six hours, five "large explosions" were reported by scientists monitoring the volcano, and the eruption ash cloud had reached an estimated height of 50,000 feet above sea level.
The National Weather Service issued an advisory for light ashfall Monday morning in the Sisitna Valley area, which includes the small communities of Talkeetna, Willow, and Cantwell, which are in the vicinity of Denali National Park. Thus far, winds have carried the ash away from Anchorage and Seward, the two major population centers in the state.
It's really too soon to gauge the impact of the eruption on travel or other daily activities in Alaska. Initial reports were than most of the ashfall was confined to the immediate vicinity of the volcano, and deposits of ash elsewhere were expected to be light.
According to local media reports, Alaska Airlines canceled 19 flights in and out of Anchorage on Monday as a precaution because of concerns about the ash. Volcanic ash can not only reduce visibility but can damage plane engines. Mt. Redoubt is located about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory were taking the latest activity in stride, which is referred to on their website as an "episode of unrest."
A webcam view of Mount Redoubt is available via the Observatory. Just keep in mind that Alaska time is four hours earlier than the East Coast, and the days are still a bit short in Alaska this time of the year.