Alaska issued a code red aviation alert on Sunday after a "significant explosive eruption" at its Bogoslof volcano, reports UPI, which sent an ash plume at least 35,000 feet in the air on a key flight path between North America and Asia. "We actually went to color code red this afternoon because of numerous lightning detections and increased seismic signals," Jeffrey Freymueller of the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute tells CNN. "The combination of lightning and seismic data allowed us to go to red within about half an hour of the start of the eruption."
The alert was later downgraded to orange, but ash plumes in flight paths are no joke, notes the USGS: "Ash and aircraft do not mix, as volcanic ash is abrasive, melts at jet engine temperatures, and can cause engine failure." (Read more volcano stories.)