ESRL Global Systems Division

ESRL's VACT Aids Anchorage Forecasters During Mount Redoubt Eruptions

The Volcanic Ash Coordination Tool (VACT) developed by ESRL's Global Systems Division (GSD) is being used in real time for all of Mount Redoubt's recent eruptions to determine location, areal extent, and movement of ash. The National Weather Service reported that the volcano has spewed plumes of ash and gas to heights of 65,000 feet disrupting flights and also causing the closure of the Anchorage airport.

The VACT integrates high-resolution weather, aircraft location, FAA routing, enhanced satellite imagery, and ash dispersion modeling data sets to help users graphically display and predict the path of the volcano's plume. This technology makes it possible to facilitate timely and coordinated responses to various agencies during events associated with eruptions. The Anchorage Center Weather Service Unit forecasters are able to continually alert FAA traffic managers of ash threat using the advanced graphics and drawing features available on the VACT system. As Mt. Redoubt is still active and explosive activity is expected over the next several days or weeks, VACT-generated briefings will continue to provide valuable data to decision makers whose objective is to keep the public safe and informed.

A unique feature of the VACT is that it provides shared situational awareness between scientists and operational meteorologists. This interagency collaboration allows a more accurate and consistent volcanic ash warning to be disseminated to operational decision makers to help mitigate societal impact.

Contact information
Name: Greg Pratt
Tel: 303-497-7237