Today I learned there's something called "The Ritzville Bulge" that confuses meteorologists. It's the label given to the weird fact that Ritzville and Lind, Washington, receiving the most ash of anywhere not immediately around the volcano.

When Mt. St. Helens erupted in May 1980 it dumped rock and ash all over the surrounding area. But then clouds of ash rose to high in the atmosphere, were carried by the wind, and then dumped to the east.

But instead of the ash falling quickly (it is heavy) and scattering most in central Washington, and less in eastern Washington, and even less in Idaho, etc., the cloud kind of skipped over central Washington dropping a few inches, and then DUMPED 6 inches or more in eastern Washington!

The reason is scientific and too complicated for me! You'll have to do your research if you really want to know.


Matt Logan/U.S. Geological Survey via Getty Images