What is VOG? Well, VOG is, simply put, volcanic air polution. Defined in science terms as Sulfer Dioxide or SO2. Those who have seen LA first thing in the morning can relate to how this air polution affects the sky and the air quality. The USGS has implemented a danger level system sort of like our National Security alert levels. The Civil Defense Department of Hawaii County has a similar code using colors. It is important for everyone to heed the warning signs. Fumes are hazardous to your health. Persons with heart or respiratory problems and infants, young children, and pregnant women are especially at risk and should avoid the volcanic fumes.
Extreme: Very reduced visability, no visible horizon. Blue/grey tint to objects a mile or less in distance.
Heavy: Reduced visability, horizon barely visible. Blue/grey tint to objects 3 miles away.
Moderate: Horizon is blurry. Blue/grey tint to objects 5 miles away.
Light: Horizon is almost sharp. Blue/grey tint to objects 10 miles away.
No Vog: Sharp horizon and little haze to distant objects
Kilauea has been flowing since 1983 and as the flow changes the rules of the game change. What the USGS has learned over the past several years has changed 70% of what they thought they knew about volcanos. Pele cannot be stopped. What will she do next? We will have to wait and see.