After Pele rolled over, she’s gone into a deeper slumber and the Big Island is experiencing the lowest level of volcanic activity since 1983. Such pauses have happened twice before during the current 24-year-long eruption and previously lasted just a few weeks.
The effect on the Kona (leeward) side of the island is dramatic. For the whole time I’ve known this island, the 14,000′ Mauna Loa creates a huge atmospheric eddy in which the volcanic aerosols are transformed into “vog” (volcanic smog). This makes Kona “normally” hazy, with an indistinct horizon and, for some, noticeable effects when exercising. A few times per year, when the winds shift, and the sky becomes blue, it’s literally like a scrim being lifted. It’s been like that every day for the past couple weeks.
No one expects this pause to be long-lasting, but for the moment, it’s marvelous.