Yellow, Phase 3.
- Webcams de Mexico has live webcams, which are free but not embeddable
- Current CENAPRED report (Spanish).
- Hazard map (Spanish)
- Washington VAAC page.
- Puebla Civil Protection (Twitter)
- Mexico City Secretaría de Gestión Integral de Riesgos y PC (Twitter)
- GVP page.
Uh, good morning, Popocatépetl?
ACTIVIDAD DEL VOLCÁN POPOCATÉPETL🌋
23 de Mayo 2023 Matutino 19:00 h – 7:00 h 🗓️
⌚️ Hora ➖ Dirección de dispersión
🔸 19:00 ➖ 1:00 ENE constantes con incandesencia y actividad balística 💥
🔸 1:00 ➖ 5:17 E constantes con actividad balística 💥
🔸 Continúa… pic.twitter.com/Goj5LPaxkN
— Observación volcánica (@ObserVolcanica) May 23, 2023
My browser flags that as “sensitive” but what I see is Popo’s summit, in full eruption, so 🤷♀️.
Update, May 23, 2023, 8:31 a.m., Pacific: As breath-taking as that is — enough so to leave it up, even though a later look shows it from the 22nd — the alert level is still YELLOW, PHASE 3.
Yesterday, the scientific committee met again and decided to keep it there.
Edit: What? You want this morning?
Good morning, Popocatépetl!
Que belleza🙌🏽 pic.twitter.com/0DFHVOFcfH
— M.Dr.Vulcano (@M_Dr_Vulcano) May 23, 2023
The current VAAC advisory:
FVXX20 KNES 231445
VOLCANO: POPOCATEPETL 341090
PSN: N1901 W09837
SUMMIT ELEV: 17693 FT (5393 M)
ADVISORY NR: 2023/620
INFO SOURCE: GOES-16. WEBCAM. NWP MODELS.
ERUPTION DETAILS: ONGOING MDT VA EMS CONT
OBS VA DTG: 23/1431Z
OBS VA CLD: SFC/FL300 N1907 W09836 – N1859 W09632
– N1723 W09702 – N1835 W09828 – N1859 W09840 –
N1907 W09836 MOV SE 25KT SFC/FL300 N1934 W09319 –
N1932 W09052 – N1810 W09055 – N1818 W09313 –
N1934 W09319 MOV E 25KT
FCST VA CLD +6HR: 23/2030Z SFC/FL300 N1906 W09836
– N1820 W09348 – N1546 W09601 – N1834 W09832 –
N1853 W09844 – N1906 W09836 SFC/FL300 N1903
W09031 – N1831 W08849 – N1735 W08926 – N1801
W09041 – N1903 W09031
FCST VA CLD +12HR: 24/0230Z SFC/FL300 N1905
W09835 – N1647 W09204 – N1419 W09513 – N1830
W09829 – N1855 W09846 – N1905 W09835
FCST VA CLD +18HR: 24/0830Z SFC/FL300 N1907
W09838 – N1631 W09050 – N1336 W09452 – N1835
W09833 – N1856 W09844 – N1907 W09838
RMK: MDT EMS CONT WITH DENSE VA NOW MOV TWD THE
SE AND EXTDG ARND 140 NM FM SUMMIT. REMNANT VA CONT
TO MOV E ACROSS BAY OF CAMPECHE AND INTO WESTERN
YUCATAN. REMNANT VA E OF YUCATAN IS NO LONGER
SEEN. FCST SHOWS A SE MOV FOR NEW VA CONT THRU
T+18 HRS WITH REMNANT VA CONT TO MOV E/ESE THRU
T+6 HRS. …KIBLER
NXT ADVISORY: WILL BE ISSUED BY 20230523/2045Z
If and when the crisis expands in area and reach, I will certainly care about everyone affected but will stay focused on the Puebla-Mexico City area because this eruption is occurring in the midst of tens of millions of people: the nightmare of scientists and emergency managers everywhere, but also a textbook example that those same specialists worldwide — these, for example — are probably following closely.
Per Puebla City Civil Protection, nearby
communities haven’t been affected by this activity, but ashfall is still expected, paticularly in (Source):
▪️Valle de Atlixco y Matamoros
▪️Serdán – Valles Centrales
▪️Estado de Veracruz
🌋Modelo HYSPLIT indica que la ceniza, en caso de emisiones del volcán Popocatépetl, podría dirigirse a:
•Atlixco y Matamoros#Edo.Mex.#Morelos. pic.twitter.com/6nfVcE0fGn
— PC Estatal Puebla (@PC_Estatal) May 23, 2023
Puebla state authorities also note places where ash has fallen in the past 24 hours.
It’s certainly nothing to mess with.
Medical facilities are on special alert, and this morning the Puebla state governor said that, as of yesterday, 8 a.m., almost two hundred cases of ash-related illness had been reported.
Will wait and see how the day goes.
Here is something from the May 21st update, for those who missed it and are still wondering what happened to that lazy, beautiful colossus who used to throw out graceful, feathers of “smoke” just often enough to remind everyone why the Aztecs and their descendants called it a “smoking mountain.”
Those old-timers must also have known that it is capable of big-time fire as well as smoke. We’ve been lucky, that’s all.
Anyway, even though I’m just somebody who has read a few papers and thinks she may have understood a little bit of it, here’s my take on what might have caused the change.
From May 21st post:
MODIS imagery of Popocatépetl’s summit dome building:
La anomalía térmica (VRP*), detectada por el satélite Terra (instrumento MODIS) en el #Popocatépetl, tiene valores muy altos alcanzando VRP de 1215 MW.
Estos valores están relacionados al domo de lava que se estaría formándose desde hace un par de días.
*Volcanic Radiative… pic.twitter.com/ZchDFB28GF
— SkyAlert (@SkyAlertMx) May 21, 2023
That is VERY hot. [LAYPERSON SPECULATION]Of course, it would be. Probably what is causing this increased activity is the arrival of an injection of fresh magma from greater depths than Popo’s usual reservoir. Besides being hotter, it probably also contains lots more gas.
You see, Popcatépetl, like Colima and Indonesia’s Merapi, among others, has an open conduit (Chaussard et al.)
That’s good because it allows gases to exsolve from magma and escape before they accumulate enough to cause a big explosive eruption.
This also slows down the speed at which the magma rises, and because this subduction-zone magma is so sticky, it just oozes out of the vent and piles up into a dome.
That has been Popo’s M.O. for decades (it woke up in 1994).
The plumbing system is very complicated, of course, but as at all volcanoes, very hot “primitive” magma can and does move up sometimes. While the heat and gas make this dome construction/destruction thing faster, louder, and more intense, the magma chemistry typically doesn’t change (as I understand it).
So what we’re looking at is most likely the same old Colossus of Puebla; it has just gotten a ‘hormone shot.’
I think it’s actually good that the volcano is blowing off so much stuff. Things tend to get plinian when there is no way to let off steam (and gas and ash, etc.)
It’s tough on the neighbors, but with volcanoes, “quiet” is sometimes a very bad (and short-lived) thing.
There is no guarantee that Popo will not escalate. It has done so in the past (a couple thousand years ago, I think, or thereabouts).
When these injections of magma come up, they can rise so fast and be so large in volume that the volcano’s open conduit isn’t big enough to release pressure. Per the sources quoted in my Merapi chapter, that’s what happened at that Decade Volcano in 2010.
Popocatépetl is not Merapi, and it will do its own thing. It’s just as likely to simply carry on this way for a while and then calm down. Volcanoes are a little like cats that way — it’s sometimes easier to explain why they did something than to predict what they will do next.
I wish there weren’t tens of millions of people living around it — but because there are, the best minds on the planet have been planning a long time for this and are now following it closely. Listen to them and do what they say — and also try to be a helper whenever you can.[/LAYPERSON SPECULATION]
And don’t forget the pets need protection, too!
¿Cómo proteger a las mascotas ante caída de ceniza?#Blog 👇🏻https://t.co/Z2H8rtXAPf
— Webcams de México (@webcamsdemexico) May 20, 2023
Featured image Popocatépetl in early 2019, by Puebla Civil Protection (Spanish)