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I DIDN'T KNOW THAT

August 07, 1995

Q: Do earthquakes occur more often during hot weather or in the early morning hours? Is there earthquake weather?

A: No, according to seismologist Lucile Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey. Sixty-two years of records at the USGS show that earthquakes occur randomly at all hours of the day and at all times of the year. Although scientists have looked intently for patterns in quake occurrence, they have never found any. People probably associate quakes with hot, dry weather because, in California, the weather is hot and dry most of the time. Interestingly, people used to believe that muggy weather was earthquake weather because that was the weather when the Long Beach earthquake of 1933 took place. Quakes also tend to be more noticeable during the night and early morning hours because there is less activity to provide a distraction. In fact, earthquakes begin many miles below the Earth's surface and are not influenced by weather or the time on the surface.

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