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Is there earthquake weather?
In the 4th Century B.C., Aristotle proposed that earthquakes were caused by winds trapped in subterranean caves. Small tremors were thought to have been caused by air pushing on the cavern roofs, and large ones by the air breaking the surface. This theory lead to a belief in earthquake weather, that because a large amount of air was trapped underground, the weather would be hot and calm before an earthquake. A later theory stated that earthquakes occurred in calm, cloudy conditions, and were usually preceded by strong winds, fireballs, and meteors.
There is no such thing as "earthquake weather". Statistically, there is approximately an equal distribution of earthquakes in cold weather, hot weather, rainy weather, etc. Very large low-pressure changes associated with major storm systems (typhoons, hurricanes, etc) are known to trigger episodes of fault slip (slow earthquakes) in the Earth’s crust and may also play a role in triggering some damaging earthquakes. However, the numbers are small and are not statistically significant.
(Contributed by Dr. Malcolm Johnston)
Why are we having so many earthquakes? Has naturally occurring earthquake activity been increasing? Does this mean a big one is going to hit? OR We haven't had any earthquakes in a long time; does this mean that the pressure is building up for a big one?
Early on the morning of August 24, 2014, Loren Turner was awoken by clattering window blinds, a moving bed, and the sound of water splashing out of his backyard pool. He experienced what is now named the “South Napa Earthquake.”
Imagine the Delaware River abruptly rising toward Philadelphia in a tsunami-like wave of water. Scientists now propose that this might not be a hypothetical scenario. A newly published paper concludes that a modest (one-foot) tsunami-like event on the East Coast was generated in the past by a large offshore earthquake.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 2004 was the deadliest year for earthquakes since the Renaissance Age, making it the second most fatal in recorded history, with more than 275,950 deaths reported from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26.
As Hurricane Dennis approaches the east coast of the United States, the U.S. Geological Survey is gearing up to monitor and measure the effects of the storm and communicate this critical information to local, state, and federal officials involved in saving lives and property during major storms.
Hurricane Nate approaching Louisiana on October 7, 2017.
Screen shot of the Coastal Change Hazards Portal showing potential coastal change impacts during a direct landfall of Hurricane Matthew based on NHC Advisory 037, 0800 AM EDT OCT 07 2016.
USGS Hydrologic Technician measuring flood waters on the Mississippi River near the Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO, during late December 2015 through early January 2016.
Flooding on Swiftcurrent Creek at Many Glaciers, Montana