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Monday, May 23, 2011

Volcano Ash Cloud 'Will Cover Scotland' - 23rd May 2011

Ash from the erupting Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland will cover Scotland and Ireland by early Tuesday morning, the Met Office has predicted.

Airlines and travellers were looking nervously at the progress of cloud as it heads towards Europe.

The Grimsvotn volcano began erupting on Saturday and forced Iceland to close its airports on Sunday.

The country's aviation authority said it hoped to reopen the main airport near the capital Reykjavik later today or tonight.

The only other country to be affected so far is Greenland, with air traffic officials confirming airspace was partly closed over the Arctic island.

Air Greenland said its Monday flight between the island's main airport and Copenhagen had been cancelled because of the ash.

European airlines have been warned to prepare for possible disruption to their own flight schedules by the end of the week.

The latest prediction by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre at the Met Office looked forward to 6am on Tuesday.

A graphic issued by the centre indicated ash would be present up to 20,000ft over all of Scotland and Ireland.

Last year, ash from an explosion at the Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier forced the closure of European airspace for six days.

Some 10 million passengers were left stranded for days at airport lounges around the world following the eruption in April 2010.

The Grimsvotn ash cloud is currently spreading towards Norway but the Met Office has predicted it could arrive over Scotland by midday on Tuesday if the volcano continues erupting at the same intensity.

It is then expected to move south over Britain, reaching parts of France and Spain later in the week. Read More