Monday, November 17, 2008

Morning Earthquake

I talked about Earthquake Weather (EW) before, although we didn't get an earthquake that time, and my post turned into commentary about the job I don't have anymore. The earthquake discussion is at the beginning of the post.

So, we've been having EW again: cold nights and hot days, the kind of temperature shifts that make the earth contract and expand.

I went to bed later than usual, at 2:30am, and around 9:30am I woke up and then started falling back to sleep. Just as I fell asleep, I felt the bed move as though somebody had given the mattress a light push. It moved a tiny bit to the side and back, and my mind started telling me it was just one of those moments of disequilibrium that I didn't need to worry about, when I felt the covers settle down around my legs more.

I was awake. I classified it as an earthquake about a 3.2 magnitude at my house--just strong enough to feel it but not strong enough to even move the miniblinds.

Caltech takes about 10 - 20 minutes to report an earthquake on its website, so my first attempt to see if I had just experienced an earthquake and not a figment of my imagination told me that there was a 4.1 earthquake 10 miles north of the observatory on Mt. Palomar at about 4:30am. The epicenter is about 35 - 40 miles from me, if the crow flies high enough to avoid the mountains. I slept through that one.

A little later, an aftershock showed up for 9:41:36 AM PST. Jackpot!

I'm not sure how long the link will be good, since it's in the "recent earthquakes" section of their site, so here's their summary:


Southern California Seismic Network: a cooperative project of
U.S. Geological Survey, Pasadena California
Caltech Seismological Laboratory, Pasadena, California


Version #C: This report supersedes any earlier reports of this event. This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

A minor earthquake occurred at 9:41:36 AM (PST) on Monday, November 17, 2008.
The magnitude 3.8 event occurred 16 km (10 miles) N of Palomar Observatory, CA.
The hypocentral depth is 10 km ( 6 miles).

So, that was my morning. I hope you had a good one too!


Tsofah said...


I remember being rudely awakened by an earthquake at my home last spring. The aftershock was almost as strong. To lighten things up around here, I went around doing my Carole King imitation while singing a bit of "I Feel the Earth Move"

(yeah, it was corny at the time, too. sure helped break some tension!!!) :-)

SkyePuppy said...


No rude awakening for me this time. Just a gentle nudge.

Glad your scare last year was scare-only, and no damage.

Bekah said...

I remember when we had one or two a few months back - what a strange feeling! I don't think I'd take kindly to it waking me up AT ALL. Even if it was just a little one.

SkyePuppy said...


The beauty of a little earthquake is that by the time you figure out what it is, it's already over.

Malott said...

I think you should start wearing a life-jacket at all times, day and night. Then, when California falls into the sea, some fisherman can come along, pick you up, and sail you to Denver.

Hmm... Knowing Californians... I bet there ARE people who walk around all day wearing life-jackets. Seen any?

janice said...

WOW Skye, you're good. Maybe you should apply for work at CalTech monitoring earthquakes.

Bryan Alexander said...

The one last spring that woke Tsofah also woke my wife and daughter, but my son and I slept through it. My older son is at Purdue, and I'm not sure if it woke him or not.

But around here we're more concerned about tornadoes than earthquakes.