Friday, June 17, 2005

Earthquake weather?

From Althouse I see that my hometown newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, has quoted a local resident saying, "They say there is no such thing as earthquake weather, but there is." 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.

If you are still a believer, consider these dates: In California, the Northridge (1994) and Fort Tejon (1857) quakes occurred in January. Landers/Big Bear (1992) was in June. The Loma Prieta (1989) and Whitter Narrows (1987) events were in October while Long Beach (1933) was in March. The famous 1906 San Francisco quake was in April.

The only thing these quakes have in common is they occurred on days ending with the letter "y".


Post a Comment

<< Home