June 17, 2005

"They say there is no such thing as earthquake weather..."

"... but there is."


Simon Kenton said...

Earthquakes tend to be triggered around the height of springs - at or near full moon. The same opposed gravitational forces that produce the high tides can be enough to release locked fault systems. CF the Indonesian quake.

PatCA said...

We in CA say this all the time. It's unseasonally humid. The skies are grey. We've had three in the last week.

But we're quite fatalistic. When I worked in court, and attorney questioning might say, "Mr. Jones, where were you.......(rumble, roll)...on the night of May 21, 1999?" And we would move right on, without comment.

Robert Fovell said...

I almost admire the certainty of the LA resident who confidently stated that there is such a thing as earthquake weather. But the LA Times should know better than to propagate legends like this.

With a little research, one can find claims of an association between hot, calm weather and quakes. Look a bit harder to find persons certain that hot and windy conditions are the key, like during our famous "Santa Ana" episodes. However, others claim that cold and humid is the recipe, and they're quite sure of it, except when the quakes occur when it's cold and dry.

The true answer is, of course, there is no such thing as "earthquake weather". If one claims causation, one had better provide a physical linkage. With respect to weather, what would that be? Quakes usually start far underground.

Finally, consider these dates: In CA, the Northridge and Fort Tejon quakes occurred in January. Landers/Big Bear was in June. Loma Prieta and Whitter Narrows were in October whlie Long Beach was in March. The famous 1906 San Francisco quake was in April. The only thing they have in common is they occurred on days ending with the letter "y".