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The Daily Volcano Quote: volcanoes and the weather, 1932 30 March 2009

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Will South America’s recent volcanic eruption change our weather? Experts anticipate that possibility since a 400-mile string of volcanoes along the Andes roared into action like a salvo of big guns a few weeks ago, shaking Chile and Argentina for two days and nights with their cannonading.

The greatest eruption of modern times, in area involved and quantity of lava emitted, left thousands of square miles of country looking as though it had passed through a snow-storm. White volcanic ash, lava blown to a fine froth, was borne clear across the continent on the wind. This ash may affect the weather since its particles serve as nuclei around which cloud droplets form.

‘Erupting volcanoes change weather’, Popular Science, vol. 121, no. 1 (July 1932), p. 46.

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1. Thomas Donlon - 31 March 2009

How many volcanoes erupted? And was the weather affected following this time period?

2. volcanism - 31 March 2009

I checked the Global Volcanism Program database for volcanoes erupting around spring and summer 1932 in Chile, and came up with:

Descabezado Grande (VEI=3, began June 1932, ended 1933)
Cerro Azul (VEI=5+, began 1916, ended April 1932)
Llaima (VEI=2?, began March 1932, ended March 1932)

The Cerro Azul eruption is interesting: the GVP notes that it was ‘the source of one of the world’s largest explosive eruptions of the 20th century in 1932, which created a 600-700 m wide, 150-m-deep crater and ejected 9.5 cu km of dacitic tephra’.

As for the weather, someone else will need to do the research on that.

3. Thomas Donlon - 31 March 2009

Ron de Haan and Alan Sullivan and some others probably know what the climate was like during the 30’s.

People often don’t pay attention to the fact that regional earthquake and volcanic activity is subject to fluctuations. Activity sometimes clusters in a given time period.

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