Alert again raised for Aleutians volcano after new eruption

Bogoslof volcano in the Aleutian Islands experienced another eruption late Thursday, causing an ash cloud that has once more prompted higher alert levels as a string of eruptions that started last week continued.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory issued a Friday update for Bogoslof, about 60 miles west of Unalaska, in response to an ash-producing eruption that began at 11:45 p.m. Thursday. The volcano's aviation color code was placed at red and its alert level at "warning," AVO's highest status for each.

"Cloud-top temperatures from satellite suggest a cloud height of around 20,000 feet (above sea level)," AVO staff wrote. "Regional winds are from the southwest."

Several eruptions at Bogoslof dating back to Dec. 20 have produced ash clouds up to altitudes of 30,000 feet, which have been pushed north over the Bering Sea by prevailing winds. The cumulative eruptions have been accompanied by dozens of lightning strikes and have radically changed the shape of Bogoslof Island, which the observatory said remained in flux last weekend.

No ashfall on Unalaska or other communities has been reported during Bogoslof's recent eruptions. Michael Kutz, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Anchorage, said the agency's Alaska Aviation Weather Unit has been tracking airborne ash and issuing advisories to pilots, but hasn't had any reports of flights being diverted or canceled as a result.

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.