LISTEN: Difficult-to-predict explosions at Shishaldin Volcano could go on for months

Lava streams down the side of Shishaldin Volcano the evening of January 18, 2020, as seen from King Cove. (Savannah Yatchmeneff photo via Alaska Volcano Observatory)

An Alaska volcano in an often restless region of the Aleutian Islands has, yet again, been erupting. After months of activity, there was a massive explosion at Shishaldin Volcano on Sunday, sending volcanic ash several miles up into the sky.

Shishaldin’s eruption is putting on a show for the community of Cold Bay, where, about 60 miles away, residents have seen glowing, red lava streaming down the volcano’s flank.

And while Shishaldin is generally not seen as a threat to people on the ground, the ash it produces can be a major problem for planes if they fly through the ash cloud.

That’s a big reason volcanologists keep watch on Shishaldin and other Alaska volcanoes. One of those volcanologists is Chris Waythomas with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, who spoke with Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove.