Smoke and steam hangs over the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, Wednesday April 14, 2010, which has erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. Volcanic ash drifting across the Atlantic forced the cancellation of flights in Britain and disrupted air traffic across northern Europe, stranding thousands of passengers. Flights in and out of London Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, were halted, and the shutdowns and cancellations spread to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland. The volcano's smoke and ash poses a threat to aircraft because it can affect visibility, and microscopic debris can get sucked into airplane engines and can cause them to shut down.(AP Photo/Jon Gustafsson) ** ICELAND OUT **
REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) - Scientists say a volcanic ash cloud keeping most of Britain's air space closed is due to a change in the wind, not a new burst from Iceland's volcano.
Gudrun Nina Petersen of the Icelandic Meteorological Office says volcanic ash that was drifting over the North Sea is being pulled back over Britain by winds from both the northeast and northwest.
The volcano in southern Iceland is still spewing smoke and lava, but the ash plume is lower than it previously was, posing less threat to high-flying aircraft.
Airplanes across Europe are gradually taking to the skies after five days of being grounded by the drifting volcanic ash. But British officials say London airports are likely to remain closed for another day.
(COPYRIGHT 2010 BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)