Step outside and you can smell the sulfur… In Waikoloa!
This is a first. The vog has been bad, but never this bad, the entire island is wreathed in a heavy haze of volcanic emissions. As I write this I feel my eyes are irritated, stepping outside you can see it in the streetlights.
Deb and I drove to Kona this afternoon. The usually pretty drive was simply gray, gray with a tinge of yellow-brown. No views of the mauna, no views of the ocean. You could barely see the airport from the highway as we passed.
The vog has been the subject of conversation everywhere, online in social media, and in every single casual conversation you happen into today. The volcano, so devastating to those in lower Puna, has reached out to touch us all.
The vog mapping done by the University of Hawaii showed that mid-day, the vog was sweeping right through the Saddle at Waikoloa and the Kona coast from the current eruption site in lower Puna. Fortunately the predictions are for resumed northeast trade-winds tonight, clearing much of the island of vog into tomorrow.
Things could be worse. An explosion at the caldera today showered surrounding communities with ash and Pele’s hair. Plus, there is much to be said about not having a lava flow, or three, flowing though your neighborhood.