Monday, October 04, 2010

Earthquake Weather

When I first moved here, far too long ago now, it didn't take me long to hear the phrase 'earthquake weather'. To say I was hyper sensitive to the issue of earthquakes is an understatement. I experienced my first 'shaker' my very first morning in California -as next door's washing machine vibrated through the wall.

My evil housemate told me that windy weather was often a sign of an earthquake to come. Yes, I know, I was a *tad* gullible. Mind you, she also told me that Kate Moss was so skinny she was practically 'emancipated', so I was on to her pretty fast in terms of her Wikipedian prophecies.I am technically a geography graduate, so the hardened scientist in me snorts at the idea of 'earthquake weather'. Real hardened scientists are reading this and snorting at the idea of a geography graduate being a scientist - and I will admit that I know far more about writing essays with the word 'polemic' in them than any hard science. Still, wind = changes in pressure, or my brother in the vicinity, it does not bring about tectonic shifts. Unless my brother's had a curry.

Despite this, people do insist on talking about earthquake weather, and we have had a truly bizarre week of weather. 110ยบ last Monday, squally Bridlington in August overcastness today. People are muttering. None of them seem to agree on exactly what defines earthquake weather though. Some say wind. Some say freakishly hot weather. Some say we've had both in the space of a week and we are therefore DOOMED.

If you google it, the jury is certainly out. This article from the New Scientist seems to point towards a strange set of cloud formations bringing DOOM. Wikipedia says no! Snopes says no! I say we have a polemic on our hands people.

Have you heard of earthquake weather? Are you a believer? What do you believe?

Quite frankly I'm sure the good people at Oxbridge are going to confiscate my degree for even posting this. I do not believe in earthquake weather, but I do believe in animals going bonkers before a big quake. My money's on the squirrels.


itsgrimupnorth said...

Was your mole not able to predict?

Summerlandgirl said...

Ca is an EArThQuake waiting to happen : )

Rachel said...

I've lived in the San Francisco Bay Area all my life and have heard ALL about earthquake weather. It's earthquake weather when it's hot at night, or hazy and still, or windy and warm or cold and still, or we're getting lenticular clouds, or the breeze is coming from the west, or, or, or...

It's all nonsense. Most earthquakes that I have not slept through or mistaken for a garbage truck have been in perfectly seasonable weather.

waldemar05 said...

Earthquake weather occurs after a period of cold rain (enough to seep into and fill fissures in rocks), followed by an unusually hot spell which brings on the telltale humidity that is associated with and is called "earthquake weather". The quick contraction and expansion of the rocks and soil of the surrounding area being the culprit It is probably just the fussiness and discomfort brought on the humidity more than anything since we san Franciscans are not used to that.

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