Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ash Misery May Disrupt UK Freight Shipping For Days

Volcanic Cloud Returns to British Skies Once Again
Shipping News Feature

UK – Another few days, or possibly weeks, of misery face UK shipping interests as warnings were issued today that the high altitude cloud of fine debris drifting in from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano after another series of eruptions poured huge quantities of fine ash into the atmosphere, may suspend all passenger and cargo flights bringing despair to British exporters and importers, their suppliers and customers.

Once again readers are referred to the websites of the relevant authorities. The current cloud is likely to start to encroach on British airspace from the North of Scotland moving rapidly to prohibit any traffic from the South East of England due to the prevailing winds. The area is likely to include all of Britain’s main airports including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

Yesterday we reported that the cloud had fallen to around 18,000 feet at it’s highest point but the latest eruptions, encouraged by local weather, meant that the settled ceiling of ash has risen to around 21,000 feet although this should remain lower than a level which would seriously disrupt transatlantic travel for those not travelling to or from the affected UK airports. Above the volcano itself heavy quantities of ash reach over 27,000 feet (around 8 kilometres).

Current updates can be obtained from:

Icelandic Meteorological Office

UK Meteorological Office

National Air Traffic Services

Civil Aviation Authority

Readers interested in following the historical progress of the volcanic ash situation can simply type volcanic into the News Search Facility for access to all archive articles.