BRIN Explains Huge Clouds Phenomenon Above Mount Merapi Post Eruption
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A photo showing clouds like giant mushrooms blooming in the sky east of Mount Merapi made rounds on social media on Sunday, March 12, 2023. Many netizens confirmed and claimed to have seen the clouds.
Didi Satiadi, a researcher at the Center for Climate and Atmospheric Research of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), said the clouds were normal. Didi linked the formation of the clouds to volcanic ash or aerosols from the hot clouds of the volcano eruption which occurred on Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12, 2023.
The ash, Didi added, "could become a condensation core that increases the potential for cloud formation."
Didi posted an additional explanation on Monday, March 13, 2023, with a screenshot showing the distribution of clouds from the Himawari-8 Satellite on Sunday, March 12, 2022, 16:00 hours Jakarta time, around the Central Java region. Satellite images confirm the collection of clouds to the north of Mount Merapi.
The satellite imagery clearly reveals the alleged meeting of dry winds from the south with wet winds from the north, forming a convergence line in the north of the mountain which is located in the border area of Central Java and Yogyakarta. This is what creates the clouds.
Mount Merapi again spewed massive hot clouds last Saturday. Didi explained that hot clouds (pyroclastic flow) originating from volcanic eruptions have slightly different features than regular clouds.
Didi reiterated that the flow, locally known as 'wedhus gembel', is a fast flow that comes from hot volcanic gas and material spewed out by an active volcano and is heavily influenced by gravity, while regular clouds are a mass of water drops or ice crystals that occur when moist air rises upward and gets colder.
MARIA FRANSISCA LAHUR
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