No early European impact from Icelandic eruption

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No airspace closures, other than Iceland, are expected in Europe for the next 48h as a result of the Grimsvotn volcanic eruption but airlines are being advised to monitor the situation closely.

Eurocontrol's Central Flow Management Unit says the ash cloud from the volcano will drift to northern Scotland on 24 May and continue to west French airspace and northern Spain if the eruption's intensity is maintained.

All Icelandic airports are closed to instrument traffic at least until late today and Eurocontrol said: "It is very likely that they will continue to be closed."

But it added that "no airspace closures are expected for today and tomorrow" elsewhere in Europe.

It is advising airline to monitor closely all relevant NOTAMs, significant weather bulletins and ash concentration charts.

 iceland volcano grimsvotn
 © Icelandic meteorological office

Two weather radars - one at Reykjavik's Keflavik airport and a mobile unit - are monitoring the height of the Grimsvotn plume.

Initially the plume reached 20km after the eruption started on 21 May, said the Icelandic meteorological office, but fell back to 15km and then 10km. There has also been intense lightning activity, with strikes at a rate 1,000 times that during the Eyjafjallajokull eruption last year.