Grimsvotn Ash To Reach UK Tuesday, Civil Aviation Authority Sees "Likely Disruption" To Flights; France, Spain Next

Tyler Durden's picture

Call it Eyjafjallajokull part two, or, more pronouncedly, Grimsvotn part one. Just like last year, when the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano erupted and covered Europe in ash, grounding flights for about a week, so the 2011 vintage of Icelandic pyroclastic goodyness, contrary to "expert" predictions, is about to cause widespread havoc within European air traffic control. According to Eurocontrol, The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, whose twitter account is about to become all the rage all over again, "By 08:00 CET #gromsvotn #ashcloud to cover Scotland." In other words, expect massive plane delays, outright cancellations and another round of completely unexpected losses for airline carriers.

The most recent Metoffice forecast:

From Sky News, which does a bang up job of damage control.

Ash from the erupting Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland will cover Scotland and Ireland by early Tuesday morning, the Met Office has predicted.

Airlines and travellers were looking nervously at the progress of cloud as it headed towards Europe.

The Grimsvotn volcano began erupting on Saturday and forced Iceland to close its airports on Sunday.

The country's aviation authority said it hoped to reopen the main airport near the capital Reykjavik later today or tonight.

The only other country to be affected so far is Greenland, with air traffic officials confirming airspace was partly closed over the Arctic island.

Air Greenland said its Monday flight between the island's main airport and Copenhagen had been cancelled because of the ash.

European airlines have been warned to prepare for possible disruption to their own flight schedules by the end of the week.

Last year, ash from an explosion at the Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier forced the closure of European airspace for six days.

Some 10 million passengers were left stranded for days at airport lounges around the world following the eruption in April 2010.

The Grimsvotn ash cloud is currently spreading towards Norway but the Met Office has predicted it could arrive over Scotland by midday on Tuesday if the volcano continues erupting at the same intensity.

It is then expected to move south over Britain, reaching parts of France and Spain later in the week.

However, volcano experts and officials have stressed it was likely this ash cloud would not bring the misery of the last one.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has told Sky News airlines can decide to fly if it is determined the ash cloud poses a low risk by the Met Office.

Aircraft can fly in medium levels of ash if they have approval from their respective regulator, which is the CAA in the UK.

A CAA spokesperson said it was a very different situation from that of last year.

A new radar system in Iceland means the Met Office has a "far better model", which means planes can now be moved more expertly around UK airspace.

The spokesperson added that we also have a more realistic idea of the amount of ash a plane can cope with - but no engine manufacturer has yet done "significant testing" on volcanic ash.

The Government has also insisted this time round, it can deal with the situation.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: "We've spent a lot of time and quite a bit of money putting in place the equipment that's necessary.

"[We've been] working with the airlines, the Civil Aviation Authority, the air traffic control people, so we do actually now have a system worked out.

"Using the additional information that we'll have from all this new equipment we can hopefully work with the airlines to enable them to fly safely around concentrations of ash, rather than having to impose a blanket closure."

While the Grimsvotn eruption has been more powerful than last year's, experts said this volcano's ash was coarser and falling to Earth more quickly.

University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson said: "It is not likely to be anything on the scale that was produced last year when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted.

"That was an unusual volcano, an unusual ash size distribution and unusual weather pattern, which all conspired together to make life difficult in Europe."

And as if the contracting French and Spanish economies needed any more bad news, according to the volcanic path prediction, they will be next to ground flights and suffer additional "one-time" economic damages.


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WhOracle's picture

Last year redux, getting married in a couple of weeks and will be traveling quite a lot until then and after... what a joy.

writingsonthewall's picture

Did the priest not mention God's volcanic intentions when he spoke to you about getting married?

I would sack that priect and get another one.

You're lucky anyway - the world was supposed to end last Saturday so you're wedding plans were on the wrong side of armageddon.

hugovanderbubble's picture

Watch for SPX 1.300 to fill the gap (20 th april 2011)

knukles's picture

"The Government has also insisted this time round, it can deal with the situation."


Dr. Richard Head's picture

Well at least all incoming and outgoing flights at the prom in Sante Fe will be going as scheduled and the TSA will ensure no terrorists are on those flights -


Mr.Kowalski's picture

Looks like the Icelandic Volcano God is helping those Spanish protestors who want to become Icelandic :-}

Sudden Debt's picture






writingsonthewall's picture

Short the airlines - short the travel agents - go long on Eurostar and buses.

Sudden Debt's picture

Eurostar.... bankrupt since the first train was put on the tracks...


metastar's picture

Icelandic Gods are angry.

Lets see what Zeus has to say.

Sudden Debt's picture

It's actually the pit filled with paper IOU's that caught fire. The Gods died 2000 years ago laughing their ass off because the son of the Big boss said he could walk on water... and it turned out he wasn't able to do that...



mynhair's picture

Good, keep TOTUS stuck over there.

unky's picture

THis is huge Bullshit. Last year when there was the supposely ash cloud in europe we had perfect blue skies in south-west germany.

writingsonthewall's picture

I'm so glad you failed the test to be a pilot - you see traveling at 500+ mph through a cloud of fine ash particles at 3000 ft is not the same as "I can see blue skies where I am".


Rest assured - I'm sure there will be airlines who will pressure Governments to stop them being grounded - even though they themselves don't fully understand the risks.

Still - when did making profit ever have anything to do with assessing risk?

I shall not be flying through any ash clouds - in the same way I don't close my eyes for a couple of seconds when I'm tired on the freeway - even though it's unlikely I will crash.


I'm sure your families will be adequately compensated should anything happen to you.


I'll keep my life thanks - I think it's worth more....

doggings's picture

im with you, all this red doesnt look good, if you fly through it and die, youve only got yourself to blame really

jal's picture

Last year Europe got a delivery of trace elements from Iceland without getting any thanks or recognition.

The humidity from the Grimsvotn volcano would help to break the drought.

Too bad so sad. Doomsteadders are going to have to get by without the help from Iceland.





Baptiste Say's picture

"A new radar system in Iceland means the Met Office has a "far better model", which means planes can now be moved more expertly around UK airspace."


HAHAHA, if you think a government body could implement a new radar system and create models from it within the time since the first volcano then you deserve to fall from the sky after you get on a flight that ingests ash and crashes.

velobabe's picture

French Open, might get ashed out†

duo's picture

Too bad Arthur Ashe isn't around.

Swain's picture

When Laki erupted in 1783, the summer in Britain was known as the "sand summer" because of ash fallout. France went to the barricades shortly there after. Who knows what Grimsvotn may precipitate in the political arena. 

Jack Burton's picture

 This story is funny because the BBC website had an expert on yesterday afternoon US time and he said there will be few if any ash problems because this volcano has heavy ash that wil quickly fall to the ground.

The Count's picture


when did you last see an 'expert' on tv warning of an imminent catastrophe of anything?

Coke and Hookers's picture

About 10% of the ash from Grimsvotn is smaller than 10 micrometers whereas Eyjafjallajokull's output had 20% of that small grained ash. The problem is that the Grimsvotn eruption may be 50 times bigger so do the math. If this eruption goes on for any length of time there are going to be problems. This eruption seems to be far worse than most people realize.

Mec-sick-o's picture

Grimsvotn means "furious waters".

I understand this volcano has the biggest glacier there.

Are there any mudslides?

Remember Colombia's Nevado del Ruiz where it made huge mudslides and complete towns were buried.

I would be wary of antique names, this volcano must have that name for a reason. 

uranian's picture

i'm flying to london tomorrow. looks like we'll just make it, had trouble last time too and ended up on a bloody train from scandinavia to calais...really hoping this doesn't develop into the same scenario.

The Count's picture


Pole shift in the making bitchez!  



Ruffcut's picture

Poor airlines.

During the start of the growing season has to be more of concern.

goldfish1's picture

Midwest is wet and muddy...planting is still delayed.

Mec-sick-o's picture

Talking about british airlines, this weekend I saw "Game Changers" featuring Virgin's Richard Branson on Bloomberg's TV.

I enjoyed his bio:

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Obama could be stuck in Ireland for the week !

Mec-sick-o's picture

He can do the Mayflower route.

SqueekyFromm's picture

Silly! How are you going to get a moving van there??? If he is in a hurry, maybe the irish can just FedEx him back.

Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Or maybe take a ship out of Queenstown and take the Titanic route - although watch out for those Icebergs coming down the Labrador current , they can be quite nasty sometimes.

Rhodin's picture

For ongoing volcano info, a good volcano blog: