Volcanic smog

The U.S. Geological Survey defines vog as:
Noxious sulfur dioxide gas and other pollutants emitted from Kilauea Volcano on the Island of Hawai`i react with oxygen and atmospheric moisture to produce volcanic smog (vog) and acid rain.

They also list some of the physical complaints directly related to vog exposure. Headaches, breathing difficulties, increased susceptibility to respiratory ailments, watery eyes, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, and a general lack of energy.

The vog mainly hangs out on the Big Island, but for the past month or so, the entire island chain has been experiencing heavy vog. A couple of weeks ago, the mountains were barely visable on my drive into work and this was first thing in the morning. Usually the vog does not become thick until later in the day. This afternoon when driving home, the sky was the strangest color blue. If I didn’t live here, I would not have known that there were mountains nearby.

The air has been so thick with this vog for days and days now. My chest feels like there is a brick on it. Everyone at work is getting sick. I am positive the vog had a direct impact on my getting sick last weekend. I had every symptom above and still am having a difficult time breathing. I rarely use my inhaler but recently it has been my best friend. I don’t think I could ever live on the Big Island.

Vog…go away!!!

Dense vog as seen from Hilo Bay, Hawai‘i (click on the photo for more info on vog).

6 thoughts on “vog

  1. The VOG has been hanging over Hilo for a month or so? No wonder that pilot of the Go airlines missed Hilo and had to turn around. LOL
    Actually, a scary thought. But I remember reading about one of the Go passenger planes flying from Honolulu and missing the big island or Hilo airport by 15 minutes and had to turn around. The pilot was asleep, supposedly! It is only a half-hour flight, for crying out loud!


  2. The photo is of Hilo, but the current vog situation has been for the entire state. I live on Oahu.
    I don’t think vog was the excuse for the pilots. The mountains are hard to see but I don’t think someone could miss an entire island due to the vog.
    It is pretty frightening to know that your pilot could not stay awake for a short flight. I have a fear of flying and so I try not to dwell on these issues or I will never get on a plane.


  3. I saw Kileaua erupting in 1970. It was amazing to be so close to the red lava! Somewhere, I still have the old photos. Of course they were not digital! If there must be vog, you can at least now breathe the nice Nordstrom air conditioning and have some gelato!


  4. Palma, How lucky! I have never seen the red lava up close, only the steam from the water as the lava went into the ocean (the view we had did not show the actual lava).
    I like your idea – any excuse to spend more time in Norstrom & at the gelato bar :-)
    The tradewinds are back and the vog is gone!! (at least for the moment)


  5. Glad to hear the vog is gone – it sounds dreadful. The closest we’ve had to such poor conditions was a few years ago when there were raging forest fires in Quebec – we had days and days of heavy thick smoky clouds laying over the Maritimes. It was when our younger daughter had asthma (which she seems to have finally outgrown) so it was quite bothersome. (But better than having the actual fires in our area, of course.)


  6. Anne, I remember seeing fires in Florida where large areas of the state were affected by the smoke. I would have to leave the state. That much have been horrible and much worse than the vog.


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