St. Vincent Volcano Eruption Poses No Immediate Threat to USVI

Saturday morning satellite photo shows the ash plume from volcano La Soufriere, shown in red tones near the center of the image, blowing east from St. Vincent, away from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, seen in outline at upper left. (Satellite photo from Colorado State University RAMMD imager)

The ash plume from the eruption Friday of the Caribbean volcano La Soufriere on the island of St. Vincent poses no immediate danger to the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In a briefing issued Saturday morning, NOAA reported that the volcanic episodes, which are taking place 428 miles southeast of the USVI, sent a two-mile high cloud of ash skyward at 8:41 a.m., Friday.

But the agency said mid-to-upper-level winds from the west-northwest continued Saturday to carry the ash plume over the Atlantic waters, away from the two U.S. possessions, and long-range model guidance and forecast suggest that these upper-level winds will continue from the west-northwest through next week. Satellite images continue to show the plume moving eastward, well southeast of the region.

At lower levels, light to moderate northeast wind flow is expected to prevail through at least early Monday and a shift in the winds from the southeast is expected thereafter. An increase in wind speed is forecast by midweek, the NOAA report said. NOAA said if eruptions continue through midweek, there is the possibility for the ash plume to move closer to the Virgin Islands.