Hunga Tonga volcano pressure wave

The 15 January 2022 eruption of the Hunga Tonga volcano had some interesting effects felt thousands of miles away

Early in the morning of 15 January 2022 (Phoenix time), the Hunga Tonga volcano erupted in the south Pacific Ocean. Tsunami warnings were issued for the coasts of the Pacific Ocean. As of the time of this writing (Sunday morning, 16 January 2022), there’s no word yet on damages to nearby Tonga.

Of considerable interest is that the eruption created a giant atmospheric pressure wave that traveled around the world. That pressure anomaly hit the weather station I have perched atop a building in midtown Phoenix, which you can see in the image. I believe the time of the +0.02 inHg anomaly matches up with when other sensors in the area saw that pressure wave.

Daryl Herzmann, who maintains the impeccable Iowa Environmental Mesonet (which I’ve written about before), tweeted out this graphic showing the pressure wave marching across the United States (EDIT, Sunday evening: a second graphic is below, and is objectively awesome):

The National Weather Service office in Phoenix noted the pressure anomaly as well. Their instruments, working in concert with other NWS offices, found two different pressure waves.

And finally, for a good overview of the entire event, Scott Manley offers this video:

Weather Websites: IEMbot

Want a rolling feed of National Weather Service warnings and watches for an area? Check out the IEMBot Monitor!

As we’re getting some actual weather in the Phoenix metro area this summer, I thought I’d share some of my online weather resources that I use to keep track of weather events.

My favorite site is the IEMBot Monitor. It’s run by the Iowa State University’s Iowa Environmental Mesonet program. But don’t worry: It’s not just for weather for Iowa! On the IEMBot Monitor, you can pick a National Weather Service local office and get a running list of weather watch or warning products issues for that particular area.

If you’re in Phoenix, you’ll want to select “[psrchat] Phoenix” from the Available Rooms picker and you’ll get a running list of the weather products

I should say at this point that this isn’t a substitute for getting severe weather alerts, just another tool to have in your tool belt.

Midtown Weather Live

Phoenix is set for another scorcher today, so in anticipation of that, here’s a live stream of the Midtown Phoenix weather station.

Phoenix is set for another scorcher today, so in anticipation of that, I’ve set up a live web stream of the console for the Midtown Phoenix weather station I maintain.

The sensor suite is perched atop a building in midtown Phoenix and the console receives that wireless signal for transmission out to the internet. You can see the data in real time at

Who’s for lightning?

A quick non-essay: A picture from midtown Phoenix of storms over the far far west Phoenix metropolitan area. Who’s for lightning?

combined lightning 31 july 2014

A quick non-essay: This picture is from last night’s storms over the far far west Phoenix metropolitan area. The mountain range you see is the White Tank Mountains, located about 27 miles (43 km) west of my flat in midtown Phoenix.

Quite the light show! And happy August!