Potential Iceland Volcano Eruption and Atlantic Storm Cloud Travel Outlook

tropical stormAccuWeather reports that Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano could be counting down toward an eruption with possible impacts on millions of people while Tropical Storm Cristobal could impact the East Coast of the United States even if the storm remains well offshore.

The eruption threat level for Bardarbunga was raised to orange on Monday, the second-highest level. This occurred following several earthquakes in the past week, including the strongest quake measured in the region since 1996, according to the Iceland Meteorological Office (IMO), AccuWeather says.

Although no eruption has occurred thus far, the recent earthquakes have raised concern that a major eruption is possible in the near future.

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In 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in Iceland spewed ash into European airspace, leading to thousands of flight cancellations which impacted millions. 

Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected this weekend. Regardless of when the low strengthens, torrential downpours and gusty squalls will continue to spread across the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and to Turks & Caicos through Saturday, AccuWeather says.

"The downpours will raise the risk of flash flooding, road washouts and mudslides but can also ease dry conditions on some of the islands," said AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

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Beyond Saturday, there are several pieces of the puzzle that AccuWeather.com meteorologists are monitoring which would influence the future track of the low and future impacts to the U.S. East Coast.

According to Kottlowski, latest indications point toward what should be Cristobal passing over or near the Turks and Caicos Islands on Saturday, east of the Bahamas through the remainder of the weekend and then in between Bermuda and the eastern U.S. early next week.

Downpours and gusty squalls will continue to accompany the low along its path with damaging winds and rough surf becoming an increasing concern as Cristobal takes shape.

"There is opportunity for the evolving Cristobal to become a very strong tropical storm and perhaps even intensify into a hurricane as it passes just east of the Carolinas early next week," said Kottlowski.

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