Volcanic ash could hit UK overnight

2011-05-23 16:34
London - Ash spewing from an Icelandic volcano is set to reach northern Britain by late Monday or early Tuesday, forecasters said, as US President Barack Obama heads to the country.

"Currently the Met Office forecasts that ash is likely to reach parts of northern and western Scotland overnight and early tomorrow (Tuesday)," a spokesperson for the Met Office told AFP.

"How this affects flight routing will be determined by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and Nats (National Air Traffic Services) together with individual airlines."

The spokesperson said other parts of Britain could see some ash later in the week "but there is a lot of uncertainty. It could be an unsettled week with strong winds".

Iceland's Grimsvoetn volcano is two days into its most powerful eruption in over a century, sparking fears of a repeat of the situation one year ago when the Eyjafjoell volcano closed most of Europe's airspace.

Obama is set to fly to London from Ireland on Tuesday as part of a six-day European tour of four countries. After his state visit to Britain he is due to fly to France on Thursday.

Nats said it was closely monitoring the potential for disruption from the volcano but said that "at present, there is no impact".

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