The Amazing Eruption of Mt. St. Helens – 40 Years Ago Today

Bill's Blog
Mt. St. Helens before eruption_1526617911890.JPG.jpg

Before the eruption

Today is the anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State.  The top pic. (from Wikipedia) is the mountain before the eruption.

Eruption of Mt. St. Helens – May 1980

At 8:32 am on May 18, 1980, an eruption measuring 5.1 on the Richter Scale caused the north side of the mountain to collapse. There were 57 fatalities that day. 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railway, 185 miles of highway were all destroyed. Before the eruption, the mountain was 9,677 feet high – after the eruption it was 8,363 feet high. 230 square miles was devastated and 1.5 million metric tons of sulfur dioxide was released into the air. Trees up to 19 miles away were toppled. 46 billion gallons of snow and ice were melted. Mudslides came down the mountain at 90 mph. It took 19 days for the ash cloud to circle the world. Here’s some interesting facts about Mt. St. Helens. Movie about the eruption. Minute-by-minute view of the eruption.

Mt. St. Helens eruption from 35 miles away (Rocky Kolberg)_1526618466460.JPG.jpg
from 35 miles away

The above image (from Rocky Kolberg) shows the eruption from 35 miles away!

Accumulating ash from Mt. St. Helens

Here’s where the ash from Mt. St. Helens accumulated. Three days later on May 21, the ash cloud was seen passing over West Michigan. I calculated that it reduced the high temperature that day here in G.R. by 3 degrees, though the ash was high aloft and no ash accumulated at ground level in Michigan.

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