Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mount St. Helens Webcam

The USDA Forest Service maintains a webcam at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, pointed at the crater on Mount St. Helens. The camera is at about 4,500 ft. elevation, so it spends a lot of time looking at a snowdrift in the wintertime.

With the sunny weather we've been having, the latest drift has melted down to the point where you can see the mountain again. Normally you can also see the Toutle river valley, a nice panorama of the area decimated by the volcanic explosion over 20 years ago. I like to check the webcam once a day -- you often can see the new dome smoking. In the spring you can see the carpet of low vegetation, a stark contrast to the bare crater above.

The webcam has a blog (who doesn't nowadays), which mainly lists maintenance and other webcam difficulties. There's also an automatic updating Java version of the webcam. I occasionally find an image there that I want to save -- that's where these came from. I like this one with the contrail. There's also a movie page, which has some time-lapse videos of some recent eruptions.

Volcanoes on Whidbey Island.

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