Mt. Rainier’s odd cloud is not pending eruption

It’s a false eruption alarm 🏔

Mt. Rainier above a cruise ship

No new vents for Mt. Rainier. She remains peaceful — for now.

At first glance, what appeared to be vapor rising from Mt. Rainier yesterday looked a little… er… precarious to those of us living nearby.

But fear not — the answer is less exciting than you might imagine.

Mt. Rainier Vent

Looks a little spooky, huh?

Early spotters hypothesized that the puff that appeared to be leaking from the peak was the result of a new vent, an opening in the volcano that gasses or magma can leak out of. But the National Park Service quickly confirmed that it was just a weirdly shaped lenticular cloud. Whew, we’re relieved — even if the jokes were funny.

Just in case you needed some more reassurance, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) is coincidentally on the mountain installing a new volcano monitoring systemand they’ve also confirmed no new activity.

But if you live for a thrill, September is also National Preparedness Month — citizens are encouraged to think about their plans in the event of a natural disaster (perhaps a holiday for doomsday-ers?). You can see what to do in the event of an eruption on the USGS website or monitor volcanic activity on your own with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

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