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Washington, DC Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Program

About Us:

The National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) of the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) of the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS), are jointly responsible for the activities of the Washington VAAC located in College Park, Maryland. The Satellite Analysis Branch is responsible for monitoring all available satellite imagery for volcanic ash plumes and issuing Volcanic Ash Advisories (VAA). The National Center for Environmental Prediction is responsible for issuing Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) Models. Operation of the Washington Volcano Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) officially began November 1, 1997 although SAB has been monitoring volcanoes as far back as 1980.

Washington VAAC

  • Introduction
  • Support
  • Methods of Product Distribution
  • Products:
    Volcanic Ash Advisories (VAA)
  • The current VAA page is updated with each new advisory. When we can clearly see a plume of ash in satellite Imagery, it is graphically depicted, and sent to our message page.
  • Sample - From Anatahan
  • A Graphic representation of the ash plume as seen on satellite imagery is attached to the message when available, but only on the Internet. (Graphic Sample).
  • After 15 days on the current page, VAA Messages are Archived by year. The current year archive is updated daily shortly after midnight UTC.
  • Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) Model
  • This is a graphical forecast tool produced by NCEP which has been recently added to our web site. These operational HYSPLITs are maintained on our site for approximately 15 days.
  • The Model output Sample is from Soufriere Hills. It is part of a Paper presented at the Third Caribbean/South American Regional Air Navigation Meeting (abbreviated CAR/SAM/RAN/3) entitled Operations Of The Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center.
  • HYSPLIT model output for volcanic ash is also placed on the Internet by The Air Resources Lab (ARL). Here's a link to the current HYSPLIT on their site (if one is current). They also run HYSPLIT for hypothetical eruptions.