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Daily Record
Daily Record
Chris Marzella

Tonga volcano eruption blast is felt 10,000 miles away in Stirling

A violent volcanic eruption in Tonga impacted on the atmospheric pressure almost 10,000 miles away in Stirling.

Hunga Tonga is a submarine volcano that has been active in the South Pacific since 2009.

The volcano erupted on Saturday, with numerous reports of loud booms across Tonga and other countries, such as Fiji and as far away as New Zealand and Australia.

The explosion was even heard in Alaska, seven hours after erupting, meaning the sound wave travelled 830 mph.

Near the eruption, the explosion damaged property, including shattered windows.

On December 20, the volcano initially erupted, causing a large plume of debris. The eruption continued until 2am on December 21. Activity continued, and on Christmas Day, satellite imagery showed that the island had increased in size.

The volcanic activity died down on Wednesday, January 5, before restarting on Thursday, January 13, after the volcano sent an ash cloud 55,000 feet into the atmosphere.

On Friday, the volcano violently erupted again, about seven times more powerfully than the eruption on December 20.

A tsunami warning was triggered after 5.30pm by the Tonga Meteorological Services and the tsunami flooded coastal areas in Tonga.

In Stirling, the city saw an atmospheric change, part of a reaction chain reaction as a result of the eruption.

Stirling Observer weather columnist Scott McLean said: “The huge underwater volcanic eruption in the South Pacific near Tonga which occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning UK time caused an atmospheric pressure wave that travelled around the world which arrived in the Stirling atmosphere around 6.30pm on Saturday.

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“Two main pressure waves were recorded eight hours apart, resulting in sharp fluctuations in the pressure and in between the main waves ripple effects of smaller fluctuations in the pressure occurred.

“Although interesting to see the effects of the eruption waves on a pressure chart – which can be viewed on our Stirling Weather Facebook page – it did not have any effects on our day-to-day weather. Otherwise it was a calm, dry and mostly cloudy past week in Stirling with temperatures well above freezing.”

Last week, the temperature reached a maximum of 10.4 Centigrade on Monday, January 10, with a low of 0.7 Centigrade on Sunday, January 9.

The maximum daily rainfall was 3.05mm on Monday, January 10, for a weekly total of 4.06mm. Wind speeds reached 28mph on Wednesday, January 12.

Showers early week should give way to some sunny intervals midweek as high pressure begins to dominate our weather.

Cloud will increase again towards the end of the week and at the start of the weekend and although it should remain mostly dry, brief rain showers cannot be ruled out. The temperature will decrease slightly over the coming days compared to last week with daytime temperatures ranging from 4-9 Centigrade and overnight the temperature will drop close to freezing on most nights with a low of -2 Centigrade possible midweek.

The lower temperature means that some of the brief showers may be wintry at times. Wind should remain pretty calm throughout the week.

Did You Know – It was a relatively dry past week in Stirling with only 4mm of rainfall and since our records began in 2009 the longest period during the month of January with no precipitation recorded is six days in 2017.

For local weather news including historical and real-time weather visit and on social media @stirlingweather and also weather editor @scottlmclean.

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