Strong winds blow ash off Mt. St. Helens

    Wind blows ash off Mt. St. Helens (Photo: Karl Girardi of KOMO's Legion of Zoom group) <p>{/p}

    SKAMANIA COUNTY, Wash. -- That was no volcanic eruption Sunday, but some areas to the west of Mt. St. Helens must have wondered after some ash was spotted blowing in the area.

    Instead, it was strong east winds carrying ash from past eruptions off the mountain and carrying it west, according to forecasters with the National Weather Service in Portland.

    A super strong ridge of high pressure that has kept the skies sunny over the past several days and will keep them sunny for the foreseeable future is creating the gusty winds, which were blowing at sustained winds of 25 mph gusting as high as 40 mph.

    The ash could affect local aviation efforts and may make for some respiratory discomfort for sensitive people in the immediate area, though there haven't been any reports of any issues so far.

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