More than two dozen Alaska Airlines flights affecting 2,900 passengers were canceled Tuesday, even as the eruption of Pavlof Volcano on the Alaska Peninsula weakened overnight.
Alaska Airlines was conducting flights to and from Fairbanks, Barrow and Prudhoe Bay Tuesday, though the airline warned ash conditions could lead to the cancellation of additional flights.
Alaska Airlines canceled 41 flights Monday, with ash from the eruption that started Sunday afternoon reaching an altitude of 37,000 feet and drifting hundreds of miles into Alaska's Interior.
A total of 28 flights were canceled Tuesday due to strong winds pushing ash from Pavlof northward.
All told, about 6,200 Alaska passengers had been affected by the flight cancellations by about 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory reported Tuesday a calming trend for Pavlof that started Monday was continuing, with satellite photos showing ash output "appears to have diminished to the point where it is difficult to observe."
"Areas of drifting remnant ash from the energetic emissions of the previous day continue to be observed in satellite data over Bristol Bay and Interior Alaska," AVO staff wrote. "A clear webcam view from this morning confirms intermittent low-level ash emissions at the volcano at an altitude below 15,000 ft. Seismic activity remains elevated above background levels. The intensity of thermal activity observed in satellite data has also decreased over the past day."
On Monday night, observatory staff lowered the volcano's aviation color code to orange and its alert level to "watch." They warned Pavlof could erupt again without warning.
Significant ash-fall was reported Monday in Nelson Lagoon, a village northeast of the volcano. Up to two-thirds of an inch of ash had accumulated, according to the Associated Press. Trace amounts of ash fell in Dillingham and Port Heiden.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing