Aeolus in Hawaii

I just came in from the lanai: today was spectacular, starting with a fierce, warm wind that blew the clouds away and left the day drenched in sunshine and warmth. Toward evening the wind died down and the sun fell into a series of clouds, turning them peach and pink and golden, and the temperature finally dropped out of the high 70s. When I wasn’t listening to Bach (today’s his birthday, JC Bach I mean, not his huge number of talented sons), I was listening to the voice of the wind in the ‘ohia trees.

Apparently where I live lies at the mercy of both the Trades, which blow from the north, and the Kona winds, which blow from the south. The Trade Winds are big-bellied and blustery, but today’s Kona winds swept away clouds and haze and the vog that seems to gather on the lower slopes, and swept the vog north to Oahu. The result was a day of such clarity that I could see whitecaps on the Pacific all the way out until the horizon line slid into the sky.

Vog: Wikipedia says that “Vog is a form of air pollution that results when sulfur dioxide and other gases and particles emitted by an erupting volcano react with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight. The word is a portmanteau of the words “volcanic” and “smog“. The term is in common use in the Hawaiian islands, where the Kīlauea volcano, on Hawaiʻi Island (aka “The Big Island”), has been erupting continuously since 1983. Based on June 2008 measurements, Kīlauea emits 2,000 – 4,000 tons of sulfur dioxide every day.”

Sounds pretty awful, but I haven’t noticed any adverse affects from it so far. My sister tells me that every so often Madame Pele cuts a big one, and everyone can smell the sulfer — but I haven’ experienced that yet, either.



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