Prelude to a Summer Blizzard

Giving scientists only half an hour of warning, Mount Spurr, 130 km (80 miles) west of Anchorage, erupted violently on Tuesday afternoon, sending a plume of ash 16 km (10 miles) into the air. It descended on Alaska's largest city a few hours later, blackening the sky and filling the air with a choking fall of what looked like gray snow. Cars and planes were stopped to protect engines from the abrasive grit, and people -- especially those with respiratory ailments -- were advised to stay indoors until the next morning.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!