On Thursday, February 16, 2018, Volcan de Fuego in Guatemala had another set of small eruptions that released periodic bursts of ash. The Washing Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) requested a Mesoscale Domain Sector from GOES-16 to monitor these ash plumes for their advisory. The animation below shows Fuego near the center (yellow circle) with puffs of ash emanating off the summit from ~1400 UTC to ~2000 UTC.
According to Ellen Ramirez (SAB Analyst), the MDS provides more situational awareness, especially during small events that would otherwise go unnoticed at 15 minute increments (current Full Disk operations). For instance, at the beginning of the above animation, you may notice a small puff of ash/gases from Santa Maria that would have been missed if it weren’t for this MDS request. The continued ash/gas releases from Fuego are also much easier to analyze and might have been missed if they appeared between 15 minute scans.
Additionally, if you look just offshore the southern Guatemala coastline, you may notice smoke blowing offshore associated with small (assumed) agriculture fires.
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