Northern Mariana Islands
Photo: The crater of Anatahan and a new dome on the crater floor. Photo was taken on April 22, 2004. Photo by CNMI-EMO / MARGINS.
Anatahan has been continuously emitting a weak gas and steam plume at low altitude for many months. Typical winds usually blow the plume to the west and away from Saipan. The MODIS image from Saturday afternoon shows the plume being blown towards Saipan possibly explaining resident\'s observations. Air quality instruments on Saipan were not functioning and so were not able to confirm unusual gas concentrations.In addition, there was two minutes of weak tremor recorded on Anatahan just before 04:00 2/17 UTC that suggested a brief increase in gas emission. The Washington VAAC confirmed the possibility but did not have clear satellite views of the volcano at the time.Anatahan continues to emit a weak gas and steam plume. Meteorological conditions may blow vog, produced by this plume, over CNMI and Guam. Consult with the National Weather Service on current wind conditions that may bring vog to nearby populated areas.