Tongan Volcanic Eruption 'Felt' in Hereford, UK

The very large volcanic eruption on the island of Hunga-Tonga on the 15th January 2022 was the largest eruption this century and the largest since Mount Pinatubo in 1991. The eruption occurred at 17:15 local time (04:15 GMT) and caused tsunamis in Tonga, Fiji, American Samoa, New Zealand, Japan, USA, Russia, Chile and Peru. The eruption was clearly visible from space and the shockwave was captured by satellite;

Along with the ocean waves (tsunamis), the eruption sent out pressure shockwaves that rippled through the atmosphere; much like throwing a stone into a still pond.

The shockwaves were picked up by the barometer on my Davis Weather Station. The peak shown in the barometric pressure plot (below) was detected at 19.15 GMT, some 15 hours after the eruption.

The shockwave travelled at 680 mph, so it would have covered a distance of 680 x 15 = 10,200 miles before reaching Hereford, England. The reported distance between Tonga and Hereford (UK) is 10,266 miles

The Mount Pinatubo eruption caused a dip in global temperatures of about 0.4 oC as the ejected sulfur dioxide formed sulfate aerosols which reduced the amount of sunlight reaching the earth by about 10%. The Hunga-Tonga eruption is believed to have ejected only 1-2 % of the sulfur dioxide from Mount Pinatubo (due to much shorter eruption time); hence the effect on global temperatures is expected to be minimal.


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