According to meteorologist Thorsteinn Jónsson at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the ash emitted from the volcano in Eyjafjallajökull in south Iceland will continue to drift across Europe and spread to many countries in the next 24 hours.
The previous and more peaceful eruption on Fimmvörduháls. Photo by Bjarni Brynjólfsson.
Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Benelux countries and even Poland will be subject to ash fall in the next 24 hours, Jónsson told ruv.is. He finds it likely that the eruption will continue at the same force and that ash can spread as widely as across the entire northern hemisphere.
In Iceland the Eyjafjallajökull eruption has caused extensive ash fall in the regions east of the glacier today. The situation was worst in the eastern Mýrdalssandur sand plain and in the Medalland and Álftaver districts in Skaftártungur. Ash fall was also reported in Kirkjubaejarklaustur and as far as Höfn.
Tomorrow wind is forecast to blow in from the north and then ash is expected to spread over the districts south of Eyjafjallajökull and to the Westman Islands. Forecasts also assume that ash will continue to drift with upper atmosphere winds in the coming days.
Airports have been closed in Scandinavia and the British Isles today and millions of travelers are stranded.
The British media has stated that never before in peace times has aviation been brought to such a standstill in the UK—after the 2001 terrorist attacks there were still flights to a few destinations while the current ash fall is causing an absolute flying ban.
Ash can prove extremely hazardous to airplane engines. Particles that are carried into the engines can destroy the motors in a matter of minutes.
Click here for further information on the ash fall.