Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Maui vog

Maui's down there. Somewhere.

I got an email yesterday from a Maui friend. They write:
We've been having a terrible problem from vog this year. Last March, there was an earthquake on the Big Island, and it opened a new vent in the volcano, so since then, it has been spewing sulphuric dioxide gas and if the trade winds aren't howling, it drifts over here. It is so thick that you can't see Lanai, Molokini, or Wailea (from Maalaea). It really kicks up my asthma, makes my eyes burn (and my skin, too), and is generally very unpleasant. What is weird is that there is nothing to do about it. Pele is just not happy, and she has no compunction about letting us know.

Vog is the nickname for volcano fog. The tradewinds blow from the northeast, so usually it bypasses Maui to the south. But in the summer, the tradewinds mellow and Kona winds can kick up, blowing the grey haze right up and over to the Valley Isle. During the few years when I lived there, I only saw vog a couple of times, thankfully. What a bummer that vog is ruining the island. I have a sweet offer to housesit in Kihei during the whole month of July, but now I'm not sure if I even want to go. Sounds pretty gross.

Sunrise on Maui through the vog. Nice.

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