Earthquake clouds

Finally, we should mention the subject of so-called "earthquake clouds", which it is probably fair to describe as very controversial s1 Zhonghao Shou, Earthquake Clouds; a reliable precursor, Science and Utopya 64, pp.53~57, October 1999. See: .

It is claimed that there is a significant association between imminent earthquakes and the presence of certain types of clouds which are anomalous in terms of the local weather. It has been claimed that satellite observations of these EQ clouds can even be used as a reliable predictor of major earthquakes. The causal connection is said to be the venting of superheated subterranean water vapour, and the resulting clouds are characteristically "line shaped" "snake shaped" or occur in groups of "parallel lines", the linear features sometimes occurring inside large voids in the surrounding weather clouds n1 Harrington, Darrell, and Zhonghao Shou, "Bam Earthquake Prediction and Space technology', Earthquake Prediction Center, New York..

Our impression is that some of the cited "EQ clouds" inside voids might be explained as ice-fall clouds or so-called "hole punch" clouds (caused by ice crystals falling from higher altitude - possibly from jet contrails - into supercooled altocumulus layers and triggering spreading n2166 Note that Capt Patterson was initially unable to see anything, even when some 6nmi closer to the triangulated location of UAP#1. At this time the depression angle from the Jetstream to UAP#1 would have been ~5.0°, reducing at the sighting time to about 1.1° (UAP #2 would initially have been almost directly below the aircraft, latterly falling almost directly behind.). It is not known whether the visibility of some type of EQL emission might be sensitive to the elevation angle (and/or bearing angle) of viewing. Capt Bowyer's viewing angle remained much less than 5.0° (visually estimated max. -2.0° depression; calculated max. [Sect.3, Fig.8], 1.1° below geometrical horizon, reducing through 0° to about +0.5°). precipitation; the whisps of fall-out or virga often form a linear feature before melting and disappearing as can be seen in many photographs n3 See many examples at including remarkable satellite photos. Or for a nice example photographed over Mobile, Alabama, and another here over Woodford, England.). Other linear clouds may be ship trails (see Section 6.f) or wave clouds (Section 6.g). Nevertheless, an EQ prediction success rate is claimed on the basis of unusual clouds, and steam eruptions have occurred in some major quakes.

Even if there is a tectonic connection between the Channel Islands geology and the 27 April Kent earthquake there are better attested types of precursor - and more appropriate for our purposes - than earthquake clouds (see Section 6.k). No earth movement was recorded in the sighting area. In any case the likelihood that hypothetical steam venting could be relevant to the UAPs seems remote, for some of the same reasons that apply to ship trails, a/c contrails and lenticular clouds.

Plausibility (0-5): 0