Current Airline Situation: Where is the Volcanic Ash Cloud now?

The biggest news in April 2010 that the air-space over UK and several other European countries was closed due to the fears that volcanic ash cloud from Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland can damage the airplanes, I got this news one fine Monday morning while going towards tube escalators that due to volcanic ash the airports are closed and passengers are advised to contact their airlines before leaving home. I never thought what could be the consequences of it, apparently the airspace remained closed for several days, caused airline industry millions of dollar damage and misery to the passengers who were caught oversees with no funds in their wallets.

Eyjafjallajokull Volcanic Ash Cloud

Well that is nature, I being a big supporter of nature and most of the time in-peace with whatever nature do with us, it always has a reason. Several of my friends marked it as the end of earth as there were couple of earth quacks in the world around the eruption as well but sadly what they forgot was when millions of years ago when earth was in it’s early stages,  the seismic activity was far frequent and was at a much larger scale. In fact today we make movies about the Ice Age is coming due to global warming etc. while we had an Ice Age before when likes of were not even on earth!  The only difference now is, we see every bit of this live on our television screens and our airspace get closed because of this and then in our comfortable routine lives, we think, oh that’s bizarre, no for me it’s not!

Well this disruption which this ash cloud is causing and will continue to cause for several days, holiday industry will be the one who will suffer most  this summer. I know this because I planned to go out traveling on next bank holiday weekend which is from 29th May to 31st May. Due to this cloud, I looked at euro-star website, even before good 3 weeks the prices were already near £86 one way for Paris. I had been to Paris last summer, that’s a wonderful city but can’t give that much money to just to be there again. After considering several options, I am now booked with Ryan Air for Stockholm. The ticket was cheap but now I am not sure whether I will be able to fly or should I have a plan B ready in case of disruption.
As I am now tracking this ash cloud from several days (since I booked my ticket), I now know that it all depends on the winds, the big ocean currents which rule the weather of earth. This ash cloud will be there for several months but it will keep on swaying itself. As UK is nearest to Iceland, the most disruptions will be caused here but again depends on the direction of wind. Stockholm again is not very far away.
As the ash cloud today again caused some airports to shut down for couple of days in south-east England which has the most busiest airports in UK, the MET office UK which is also acting as the main outlet to hand-out ash cloud predictions have decided to list next 5-days predictions of cloud direction on their website instead of only 18 hours.
So here are the charts for next 5 day prediction of volcanic ash cloud on MET Office UK Website. If you are like me, going out soon, booked your ticket and now praying that this cloud do not come on your way, you need to keep an eye on the cloud, we have the science to predict but do not have the science to control it. It’s nature at work!

UPDATE:  There is no ash cloud from several years in a row but British Govt. or European Union has done little in recent years to stop this happening again. London Heathrow is a major travel hub with hundreds of flights going from UK to Anywhere, if they stop, a major financial hub of the world get stuck in the middle. London to New York is major travel route for busy city executives, it’s important more than ever to devise protocols to keep planes operating in all sorts of environments!

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