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Dublin: 5°C Wednesday 25 November 2020
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EU confirms that volcanic ash cloud is heading in Ireland's direction

Met Éireann says it is monitoring the situation, but the IAA is not expecting any disruptions to flights in Irish air space over the next 24 hours. The EU has confirmed that the ash looks likely to enter British and Irish airspace shortly.

Ash cloud spews from the Grimsvotn volcano which is experiencing its largest eruption in 100 years.
Ash cloud spews from the Grimsvotn volcano which is experiencing its largest eruption in 100 years.
Image: Jon Gustafsson/AP/Press Association Images

Updated at 16.20

MET ÉIREANN HAS said that the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano that erupted over the weekend is heading in Ireland’s direction and could reach here tomorrow.

Officials at the European Union now say that the the ash could enter British and Irish airspace today or tomorrow.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie this morning, Met Éireann meteorologist Pat Clarke said that there was unlikely to be any issues with the ash cloud in daylight hours today but said that it could become an issue overnight and tomorrow.

However, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said this afternoon it does not anticipate any disruption to flights in Irish airspace over the next 24 hours as a result of the eruption. The IAA said the situation is being monitored closely and updates will be provided if it deteriorates. It advises people who are due to travel by air to check their airline’s website for information.

The UK Met Office has already confirmed that ash from the Grimsvotn volcano will reach parts of the UK by the early hours of Tuesday morning, BBC News reports.

Iceland’s main airport closed yesterday following the eruption with no domestic flights in the country. It remains closed today.

The eruption was the largest in 100 years at the Grimsvotn volcano:

AP reports that that airspace is partly closed over Greenland, affecting flights between Copenhagen and the Arctic island’s main airport.

Clarke said that the extent of the disruption possibly caused by the cloud will depend on the concentration levels of the ash and how it interacts with the rain storms currently over Ireland.

Wind directions will also play a part with ash between the surface and 20,000 feet blowing in different directions to ash at higher levels between 40 and 50,000 feet.

EU spokeswoman Helen Kearns noted that differences in the nature and size of the ash cloud meant that “we are far from where we were a year ago,” when an Icelandic volcanic disrupted much of the air traffic over Europe.

Ryanair’s deputy CEO Michael Cawley told RTÉ this morning that there would be no disruption to flights this time and described last year’s volcanic ash crisis as an “overreaction”.

The IAA told TheJournal.ie this morning that there was a “possibility” of disruption to air travel tomorrow given the situation but said that at the moment there was “nothing untoward” and that it would keep the public up to date.

- additional reporting from AP

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Hugh O'Connell

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