City of Cape Canaveral Weather Stations Detect Largest Recorded Volcanic Eruption
By Space Coast Daily // January 23, 2022
This eruption sent an ash cloud over 100,000 feet high into the planet’s stratosphere
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – A massive volcanic eruption occurred near the island of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean 0n Saturday, January 15, which was the largest recorded in at least the last 30-years that was measured to have the equivalent explosive power of over 600 Hiroshima bombs.
This eruption sent an ash cloud over 100,000 feet high into the planet’s stratosphere and caused a tsunami to spread across the Pacific.
Remote weather stations measured the air pressure wave that emanated from the volcano as it circled the Earth, including those right here in the City of Cape Canaveral.
When conducting a routine data check of the City’s two remote weather stations situated at the Water Reclamation Facility and City Hall, staff noticed a distinct rise in air pressure of about one millibar that did not match any local weather conditions. This spike quickly dropped off, pointing to some sort of significant event.
After news broke of the eruption and its air pressure wave being detected across the globe, staff sent the data readings to the local National Weather Service (NWS) office in Melbourne to confirm the readings.
Scientists at the NWS did in fact confirm the readings were the result of the volcanic eruption, which happened over 7,000 miles away from the City.
Since 2020, the City of Cape Canaveral has been installing a series of remote weather stations at various public facilities with the goal of helping staff to better monitor in real time weather and climate-related events.
Having this information will allow staff to better prepare and build infrastructure that can better handle adverse conditions such as tropical cyclones and flood events based on data received by each station, which are linked to City computers and smartphones.
Cape Canaveral Fire Rescue and the local Brevard County Sheriff’s Office – the primary EMS and law enforcement agencies of the City – also have direct access to these devices to monitor storm conditions. Knowing this weather information allows rescue and recovery teams to be better prepared for relief operations should they be necessary.