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Observations for 2020 September 09

Arrived at 07:00 to temperatures even colder than yesterday. Except today it was supposed to eventually be nicer. And it was. There was less wind, which made a big difference.

At around 09:00, for the first time this interval, New Crater/Steamboat started looking interesting. Suddenly there was an increase in the flow down from South Vent, and that was sustained for the next half hour. Only once or twice did the North Vent try to join in, so it never looked like an eruption was about to start. The flow down the runoff seemed to decrease as suddenly as it started.

For the next five hours, there wasn't much going on, and on the whole, it looked a lot like the previous couple of days, except with better weather. Unfortunately, the wind tended to move around a lot, with the middle plaftorm being a prime target. But around 14:30, we got another pickup in runoff. Not as noticeable as earlier, but within the next 10 minutes or so, there was a flood of water going down the runoff channel.

It got to the point were I decided that this was my chance to get a start from somewhere other than the lower platform, so I headed down to the bridge. There I found a torrent of water coming down. Surges were moving debris down into the catchbasin above the bridge. I found it hard to tell what was going on, not being familiar with the view, and the steam didn't help. But after a couple of minutes, it became obvious that either we were about to get the start of an eruption, or we could head home because nothing was going to happen until dark.

We got the eruption, about three seconds after 15:00. The surging built into a pair of water columns that were easily visible because the wind shifted so that the parking lot received a small shower. After a few minutes, I headed up to the middle platform, where it was still dry, and remained so for the duration of the water phase.

Then the wind started shifting so that the upper platform got wet, then the lower, then the switchback, then all the way to the bottom. For the duration of the eruption, the only safe place was the "Decker Island" area, and maybe Echinus.

A couple of hours into the eruption, I noticed that there was a second steaming tree down near the North Vent's runoff channel. I've seen the other steaming tree all summer, but never noticed this spot of hot ground.