Calm Before A Storm? - Earthquake Weather Report for early 2014
Recent 5 month period a good example of high and low significant earthquake activity months
In the map above is shown all significant earthquakes in the 6.4 magnitude or greater range in the world for two months and one week, beginning December 1, 2013 (per the USGS web site). Normally there would be this many such quakes in just one month, so that what was seen during this time was less than half the usual number of earthquakes. If we look at just the months of December 2013 and January 2014, and earthquakes of at least 6.5, we are left with just two such quakes when normally one would see four times more (based on a normal average calculated from 1992 onwards).
During the past eight years (plus one month) there have been twelve months where such earthquakes have numbered no more than one such event per month (two of the twelve months had none). But having two of these type of months back to back happen even less frequently; there being three back-to-back months with one or none significant quakes.
Conversely, months where there have been seven or more earthquakes in a given month have happened 17 times during the same time period (ranging from 7 to 14 earthquakes and averaging 8.9 events per month). Back-to-back months with such large number of significant events occurred four times during the same period of time.
Interestingly, back-to-back months with 0-1 events, and 7 or more events of 6.5 or greater occurred nearly back-to-back of each other during a five month stretch from September 2013 through January 2014. This represents the only time during the period studied where these two extremes in earthquake frequency occurred so close together.
With there being two significant quakes of 6.5 magnitude occurring during the first week of February 2014, things appear to be moving back to a more normal mode. In general February is usually a below average month though (except for the first week of the month). If we see at least two more such quakes during the rest of the month of February, that may spell that activity is going to pick up and surge again into the much larger than average range. March appears to have the potential to be at least larger than usual for producing such significant temblors.
Looking again back over the 97 month period of study, the only month that had at least 7 significant events occurring more than 3 times during that period was April (being the case 4 times). Two of those times occurred back-to-back with the month of March (also having 7 or more such events on 2 occasions, but also being the month with the largest one month total of 14 in March 2011). In summary, there were 2 months (April and September) that were responsible for 7 of the 17 monthly occurrences of 7 or more significant events falling within them.
Looking back during those same 97 months at the most frequent months with the fewest number of significant events we find that three months make up the bulk of the events. The months of May, June, and December had either 0 or 1 significant events fall within them 3 times each embodying 9 such incidences out of 12 total during the period studied. Of these three months, June was the only one that was involved more than once in a back-to-back series of such low months. One of those was a May-June coupling. December 2009 and June 2012, were the two months where there were no significant events occurring.
In review, the months that seem most destined for high or low activity (based on this limited study) are April for the most frequent months (although it just barely qualified 3 out of 4 times and averaged 7.25 such occurrences when the average for all months in this higher range was 8.9) and June for the least frequent months (averaging 0.67, with all months averaging 0.83 per month). Of the high yield months for significant events, March came up 2 times, but had the highest average of 11.5 quakes per month.
In other words, what we may be seeing unfold is a yo-yo effect where earthquakes are occurring in a hot and cold and hot again series of events. What was reasonably hot in September and October 2013, was average in November 2013, became exceptionally low in December 2013 and January 2014, may be average again in February 2014, and then jump back into the extremely high range for March and April 2014.
Forecast for the remainder of February and all of March 2014
There will not be any forecast for April 2014 in this hub, but I will be looking at the rest of February and the month of March 2014. Dates to watch--out of the total potential dates listed below--will be (on or near) February 25 (especially in China and/or Italy), March 1 (China), March 22 (New Zealand), March 25, March 26 (Turkey), and March 27 (China). Those dates and locations are highlighted in bold text and underlined below. Again, the earthquakes that are here considered significant and the ones that I am forecasting are in the 6.5 magnitude or greater range.
2014-02/21 2000 UT - 2014-02/26 0600 UT
2014-02/22 0700-2100 UT (peak): China, Italy, Ecuador, Greece, Algeria, Japan, Vanuatu, and/or New Zealand.
2014-02/25 0300 UT (peak): China, Italy, Japan, Sandwich Islands, Papua New Guinea, Java, Bali, Algeria, Kuril Islands, CA, and/or AK.
2014-02/27 0800 UT - 2014-02/28 2359 UT
2014-02/28 0300-0900 UT (peak): Turkey, Italy, Algeria, Martinique, Canada, China, Russia, and/or Chile.
2014-02/28 2100 UT (1800-2359 UT) (peak): China, Turkey, Algeria, Martinique, and/or Iran.
2014-03/01 0000 UT - 2014-03/02 2359 UT
2014-03/01 1200 UT (1100-1900 UT) (peak): China, Japan, Algeria, Iran, and/or Turkey.
2014-03/04 0830 UT peak (±2hrs): Chile, Ecuador, China, Taiwan, Japan, Kamchatka, Kuril Islands, and/or Italy.
2014-03/04 1730 - 2014/03/05 1200 UT (2014-03/05 0230 UT peak): Italy, Chile, Ecuador, China, Kamchatka, and/or Japan.
2014-03/06 1710-1855 UT (1800 UT, peak): China, New Zealand, Italy, Guatemala, Greece, and/or Canada.
2014-03/21 1630 UT - 2014-03/22 2230 UT (2014-03/22 0230 UT peak): New Zealand, Iran, Java, Greece, Tonga, ID, and/or AK.
2014-03/23 0800 UT - 2014-03/26 0000 UT (2014-03/25 0230 UT, peak): Bulgaria, Tonga, Turkey, Chile, Iran, China, and/or HI.
2014-03/26 0830 UT - 2014-03/28 0400 UT
2014-03/26 1430 UT (peak): Turkey, Bulgaria, Sandwich Islands, Japan, and/or CA.
2014-03/27 2030 UT (peak): China, Panama, Indonesia, Turkey and/or S. CA.
© 2014 Joseph Ritrovato