The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology has launched a webpage with the goal of making accurate vog dispersion forecasts for Hawaiʻi.
Vog forms when invisible sulfur dioxide gas emitted by volcanic vents reacts with oxygen and moisture in the air to produce sulfate aerosol haze, which can affect the health of people and plants downwind.
The Vog Measurement and Prediction website attempts to accurately model volcanic gas forecasts and disseminate them for use by the public and health professionals as well as by researchers.
It provides a map of current conditions and forecasts for the Big Island and western Hawaiian Islands as well as data tables and an animated loop depicting emission dispersions, color coded for air quality.
Meteorologist Steven Businger is principal investigator on the feasibility study and Roy Huff is the lead modeler. They are working with UH Mānoa scientists Keith Horton and John Porter and colleagues from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and NOAA Air Resources Laboratory.
Hawaiʻi State Civil Defense, Hawaiʻi Department of Health and the National Park Service are also supporting the project.
A work in progress, the vog model will undergo continued improvements over the coming months.