Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Word for Today - VOG

Vog. Maui has Vog. It can be described by Maui residents as "thick as a brick".

Still no clue? How about "I was standing in Kihei, and I could not see the West Maui Mountains." That was a comment in today's The Maui News in reference to the thick layer of vog over Central Maui valley this past weekend.

We're from Iowa. And sometime past, from California. And we were thinking "fog". But, no, vog is not fog. "Vog" is a term used to describe the hazy conditions caused by volcanic emissions. Vog is the result of volcanic gasses being emitted into the air, mixing with water vapor and very small particles, primarily sulphur compounds and sulphur dioxide. That's all according to a pamphlet "Emissions from Kilauea Volcano" put out by the County of Hawaii, State of Hawaii.

Even though there are no active volcanoes on Maui the winds can carry the vog from island to island.

What's a little fog? Well, this isn't fog. It's vog. And it's not very nice to your lungs. The same pamphlet gives suggestions for protecting your lungs with the sulpher dioxide levels are high. It even mentions five levels of "alert", ranging from green (trace) to purple (extreme).

Recommendations during layers of vog include avoiding outdoor exertion, remaining indoors, using air conditioning, etc.

Currently Maui is experiencing some vog. But, no, we are not remaining indoors. For the most part we are in areas where the breezes keep the air clean. I think.

That smoke you see flaring from our nostrils is just the dragon fire of the wasabi from last night's meal.

I need a cuppa coffee.



l'optimiste said...

VOG?? goodness...sounds interesting to say the least.

Wasabi sounds better though!

Kelly said...

How interesting! I learn something new every day.

yiddle said...

hm. does vog affect thinking? i'm still giggling about that glazed penguins for breakfast comment dad made on my fb yesterday :P

Bill said...

If its anything like the volacanic ash we get here in the AK - awful!