A website run by the University of Hawaii at Manoa that helps forecast where the vog plume is heading is in danger of losing funding.
It’s called the Vog Measurement and Prediction Project, a tool that can forecast vog conditions up to 60 hours ahead of time.
The website creates a model that can predict when and where we could see vog on each island.
The National Parks Service, USGS, and Hawaii County Civil Defense have all used data from the model, just to name a few.
Dr. Steven Businger of the UH Department of Meteorology says its impact to Hawaii residents is paramount.
“I think the biggest role of the model is to see where the plume is forecasted to be and to plan their day accordingly, and I think there is a big benefit to Hawaii,” Businger said.
Kim Nguyen of the American Lung Association of Hawaii also says the model is an important tool to keep the public informed.
“For us living here, it helps us to recognize certain days are worse than others and especially for those with compromised lung health so they can plan their lives and their activities,” Nguyen said.
According to Businger, the cost to keep the website going is anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000 per year.
He adds that for the last two years, the university has been funding the project.
But he hopes that will change soon. “I would say we’re in the discussion phase, some parties have committed to funds and others are not quite there yet,” Businger said.