Earthquake Weather

“Earthquake Weather” is one of those great, nonsensical phrases that people in the Bay Area have used for years. The belief that weather might foreshadow seismic activity is a notion that has been around for centuries, but the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake is largely what popularized its use in Northern California.

The Loma Prieta Quake occurred on October 17th, at 5:04 pm. While California autumns are typically warm and dry, many people remember that particular afternoon as having an extra level of hot, spooky, stillness– perhaps like the quiet before a duel in some old western.

It’s been 25 years since the Loma Prieta quake, and the Bay Area has changed considerably. It’s always been a place of transition and flux: people come and go, the earth shifts beneath us. Still, for those of us who were actually here in 1989 and who still vividly remember this event, this anniversary seemed like a good time to collect some of these memories.

Earthquake Weather is a collection of people’s personal stories of that day, with occasional illustrations by yours truly.

Jenifer Wofford

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