Seismologists Envision Earthquake Forecast Smartphone App

One day, next to the traffic map and weather forecast on your smartphone, seismologist Thomas H. Jordan envisions an app that you can check to see when the chances of a major earthquake in California rise.

View of a street at the eastern area of Mexico City after a huge earthquake on Sept. 8, 2017. (Credit: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

“I think that the age of seismic weather forecasting is upon us,” seismologist Thomas H. Jordan said. Photo caption: View of a street at the eastern area of Mexico City after a huge earthquake on Sept. 8, 2017. (Credit: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, is quick to make clear this is not an earthquake prediction. Predicting exactly when and where a catastrophic earthquake will strike next is impossible, scientists say.

But what scientists can do is pay close attention when moderate quakes strike in perilously sensitive spots — places right next to major faults such as the San Andreas.

Such small earthquakes raise the risk that the San Andreas fault could unleash a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.