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Attack of the Killer Vog!

May 18, 2008

When we stepped off the plane in Honolulu, we were expecting blue skies and little fluffy clouds. Instead, the atmosphere looked eerily like the Tokyo skies we had just bid farewell to: hazy, with a high chance of increased haziness later in the afternoon.

It was, we were to learn, the VOG.

Vog is volcanic smog, and the vog in question was produced by Kilauea on the big island. Apparently, it is not at all uncommon for Kilauea to spew vog, but it is pretty unusual for it to drift all the way over to Oahu. It requires a rare perfect storm of prolonged southerly trade winds, and our first full week was full of them. It was a relief to hear about the vog – up until then, I thought that we had seriously misunderestimated the degree of perfection to which the weather here aspires.


The upside of the vog is that it is a killer scrabble word – compact and with a high point-yield relative to its size.

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