Can cloud formations predict earthquakes?

UPDATE: 28th May 2015

A new paper on this subject has recently been published on Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. The scientists examine the 2012 M 6.0 earthquake in the Po Valley of northern Italy. From inspection of 4 years of satellite images they find numerous examples of linear-cloud formations over Italy. A simple test shows no obvious statistical relationship between the occurrence of these cloud formations and earthquakes that occurred in and around Italy.

Read it the story here:


September 11, 2014

A new paper is out for discussion in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences titled On a report that the 2012 M = 6.0 earthquake in Italy was predicted after seeing an unusual cloud formation.

Po Valley, Italy

A group of researchers from various institutions in the USA and Italy took the task of studying cloud formations across the entire Italian peninsula. It all started after several reports had suggested that linear-cloud formations might be precursory to earthquakes. The researchers examined satellite images of northern Italy over the duration of four years in order to establish if the formations seen at the time of the 2012 magnitude 6 earthquake in the Po Valley, Italy were related to the earthquake itself.

Twenty-four separate examples of linear-cloud formations over Italy (January 2010 to December 2013), including the instance for 22 April 2012 that Guangmeng and Jie (2013) claim led them to predict the M = 6.0 Earthquake on 20 May 2012

Some of the presented examples of linear-cloud formations over Italy from January 2010 to December 2013.

The answer is no.
They observed numerous examples of linear-cloud formations over Italy, and concluded that there is no obvious statistical relationship between the occurrence of these cloud formations and earthquakes that occurred in and around Italy. Instead they claim that the cloud formations were formed by the interaction of moisture-laden wind flowing over mountains.

Access the full PDF here.


A great success

egu2015The EGU General Assembly 2015 was  a great success with 4,870 oral, 8,489 poster, and 705 PICO presentations as well as 11,837 scientists attending from 108 countries. Please find more details at:

Give us feedback

To help improve improve the quality of the conference  and also your experience with EGU please provide your feedback at:

Upload your presentation

Did you know that you can upload your oral presentation, PICO, as well as your poster as Power Point or PDF files for online publication alongside your abstract? This gives all participants the chance to revisit your contribution. To declare your copyright and to enable this open-access publication your presentation will be distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. The upload of your presentation is free of charge and is not followed by a review process. All legal and technical information as well as the upload form are available until 19 June 2015 at:


Put it in your diary; next years’ EGU General Assembly 2016 will be held between the 17 to 22 April 2016, again in Vienna.

A few reminders for EGU-GA 2015

A few reminders for EGU-GA 2015

With a few more days left for the kick off of the annual European Geosciences Union General Assembly (2015) , here is a quick-list to go through in time for EGU.

First, read these two pages:

Sunday 12th April: The Opening Reception, 18.30-21.00 in Foyer E.
Mingle and tingle with the crowd, old, not so old, and young scientists, all in one place. A perfect place for a cheer and networking. For those who are shy or new to the GA, there will be an area specifically designated for Young Scientists that will provide an opportunity to meet other young scientists attending the meeting.

EU2015 mobile app
The EGU2015 mobile app is now available for most smart phones. Go to  to download the app. 

Short Courses
With an ever increasing number of short courses held at the GA,  probably there is one good course for you. Many are held during breaks, purposely  not to coincide with other sessions. The full list is  here:

Find out how to improve your presentation skills on Tuesday, 14th April, 08:30–10:00 in Room B4, during a special session dedicated for Oral and PICO presentations.

Tuesday: EGU Young Scientists Forum
Are you a young scientist at the General Assembly? Come along and meet your young scientist representatives, find out what the EGU does for young scientists and take the chance to become more involved in the Union. This forum is a great opportunity to let us know what you would like from the EGU, Find out how you can get involved in the Assembly and meet other scientists in the EGU young scientist community on Tue,sday 29 Apr, 12:15–13:15 / Room R13

Tuesday: Meet the EGU Division Presidents of Seismology
Get a unique opportunity to meet with Charlotte Krawczyk  and  Martin Mai, the current and the newly elected president for the Seismology Division. You are invited to stop at the EGU booth to ask EGU related questions or discuss ways you would like EGU to improve. Both presidents will be available on Tuesday 14th Apr, 12:15–13:15 / Room G8

Medal Lectures
Get the opportunity to listen to world class experts in various geosciences. Medal Lectures are special sessions that give merit to distinguished scientists. They are usually followed by insightful (and thought provoking)  presentations. These lectures are well attended and seats are quickly taken. Note for seismologists: the Beno Gutenberg Medal Lecture by Göran Ekström on Wednesday, 15th April between 11:00–12:00 / Room G3. View the full list here:

Wednesday: Division Meeting for Seismology
Be more involved in the Seismology Division ! Learn more about what the division has been up to in the last year and what it plans for the following two years. Join in and share your views  Wed, 15 Apr, 12:15–13:15 / Room G3

Friday: Meet your Young Scientist Seismology Division Representative
Do you have any comments/recommendations and/or concerns with regards to EGU and/or the Seismology Division? This is the right opportunity to share ideas with your representative. Also, do you aspire becoming a representative yourself? Matthew Agius will be at the Young Scientist  lounge on Friday between 10:30-12:00. Come over and let’s talk!

Young Scientists Lounge.

With so many things happening at EGU, the energy, excitement and stress may take its toll. Whenever that is about to happen, remember there is always the  Young Scientists Lounge. Like in previous years, there is a dedicated lounge for Young Scientist  within the Red Level of the conference centre. A perfect place to have a break from the fast-paced sessions. Young Scientists have access to free coffee or soft drink! 



Afraid to present? Practice your talk at EGU

Many young scientists fear the worst during their presentation showdown. A special session is being held to give young speakers of Oral or PICO presentation to have one more chance to practice their talk, at the EGU complex itself!
The session: Oral presentation feedback round is not only meant for people to practice their talk but also to gain feedback on how to improve their talk. The participating speakers will be given hints on how they can actively influence their audience, make presentation informative, effective and entertaining.

Sign up for a rehearsal in the presentation feedback round

In this course, several brave speakers – you – are invited to present us their upcoming EGU talk. this gives the opportunity to rehearse your talk in front of a wide multidisciplinary audience.

The aim of this EGU shortcourse is to offer some good practice on presenting science, as well as giving candidates a chance to rehearse their talk in front of a wider audience.

To participate fill out the form to sign up for a rehearsal:
Registration deadline: 25 March 2015

Everyone is invited to attend and learn how to improve your talk – even those not practicing their talk during this session.

Date: Tuesday, 14th April 2015
Time: 08:30–10:00
Room: B4