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Tongan volcano impact picked up by amateur meteorologist more 10,000 miles away in Banham



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A drop in air pressure caused by the volcanic eruption in Tonga was picked up on a modest £100 weather station belonging to an amateur meteorologist in Banham.

Luke Broom-Lynne’s weather station picked up a drop in atmospheric pressure of more than two millibars (MB) on Saturday evening as shockwaves from the eruption made their way across the globe – from more than 10,000 miles away in Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai, where the volcano erupted.

“I had no idea there could be this pressure wave,” said Mr Broom-Lynne, who also has keen interest in astronomy.

Mr Broom-Lynne was shocked to discover that the impact of the volcano could be felt from his home 10,000 miles away in Norfolk. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.
Mr Broom-Lynne was shocked to discover that the impact of the volcano could be felt from his home 10,000 miles away in Norfolk. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.

“I read on one of my astronomy forums that this guy in Finland had noticed a surge in atmospheric pressure so I thought I would check my records.”

His Watson W-8681 wireless weather station, which sits on the roof of his home in Hunts Corner, registered that air pressure had dropped from over 1,021mb to under 1,019mb at around 7pm on Saturday, as the shockwaves travelled westwards across the globe.

Hours later, at 2am on Sunday morning, his weather station picked up another, smaller drop in atmospheric pressure – from 1020mb to 1019mb – as shockwaves travelling the other way across the planet reached his home in Banham.

Mr Broom-Lynne's Watson W-8681 wireless weather station, which he purchased for £100, sits on the roof of him house in Banham. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.
Mr Broom-Lynne's Watson W-8681 wireless weather station, which he purchased for £100, sits on the roof of him house in Banham. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.

“It showed this surge and I thought ‘my god’,” added the 62-year-old father-of-two, who works as a landscape architect and town planner.

“The pressure wave travels at 1,000kmh, so it would have gone all the way around the world and taken 16 hours to get here.

“I just find it amazing that even my modest little weather station could pick it up.

“It blows my mind that you could feel the effects here of something that happened as far away as Tonga.”

Changes in air pressure travel at the speed of sound, and meteorologists all over the globe have been carefully measuring the impact of the underwater volcanic eruption, which wreaked devastation across Tonga and sent a tsunami towards the Pacific island nation.

Following the eruption, South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss tweeted: “My thoughts are with those caught up in the appalling devastation and loss of life caused by the tsunami in Tonga.

“The UK stands ready to help the recovery effort and we are working closely with the Tongan authorities.”



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