WeatherWise Kids: Can Volcanoes Change The Weather?

If the eruption is large enough, volcanoes can change the weather both close-by…and even around the world! A volcano is a mountain or hill where lava, ash, rock, and gases shoot up from the top when pressure builds over time.

Movement of the earth’s crust is one of the big reasons why that pressure builds up. Volcanic eruptions can cause intense blasts, lava flows, mudslides, and avalanches. They have enough power to known down entire forecasts and even produce lightning!

There are more than 1500 active volcanoes on earth…but all it takes is one large eruption to impact weather across the globe.

Ash and sulfuric acid released high in the sky from volcanoes can limit sunshine and ultimately drop temperatures…making us cooler.

It happened way back in 1815 when there was a massive eruption in Indonesia. Global temperatures dropped for at least 2 years and led many across the Northeastern U.S. to wonder if summer would ever come!

During a difficult stretch in 1816, June snow was reported in several states with also river ice as far south as Pennsylvania July through August.

Volcanic eruptions can also change rain into acid rain. Acid rain can damage buildings…and kill insects, fish, and plants. People are impacted too! Acid rain has been known to irritate our skin, eyes, and lungs.

Thankfully consequences from volcanic eruptions are very rare for us here across the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.

– WSAV Meteorologist Matt Devitt

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