Man Predicts Big Quake Near Julian

Will he be right?

By Michael Gehlken
|  Monday, Mar 7, 2011  |  Updated 1:11 AM PDT
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Shaken Families Return With Scary Quake Story, Pics

QuakePrediction.com

Luke Thomas, creator of QuakePrediction.com, uses frictional heating data and other variables to predict earthquakes.

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People are used to receiving precise weather predictions.

Could earthquake predictions be next?

Luke Thomas, creator of QuakePrediction.com, said Sunday there is a 90 percent chance that a 5.0 to 6.2 earthquake will hit the Elsinore Fault near Julian on Sunday evening or, if not, then Monday morning.

From 1987 to 1992, Thomas, 46, worked as a computer graphics specialist for Cavouras Inc., a firm he describes as having provided weather maps for The Weather Channel. He says he then worked in the postal service until 2000 when he began investing in his research. 

He now spends about eight hours a day, seven days a week perfecting his prediction method, much of which is based on frictional heating data in California but also includes a wide body of surrounding information.

He listed Weather Underground as one of his primary sources.

Thomas said if he was using his current method when the 7.2 earthquake struck Mexicali last year on Easter Sunday, he would have predicted the occurrence to the day.

"Now, I feel like in the last couple of months, I have a method where I can really, really pinpoint them," Thomas said. "It’s very exciting. After it hits, you’ll have to do a follow-up interview, and we can talk after that."

Dr. Pat Abbott, Professor Emeritus of Geology at San Diego State, didn't want to sound like a pessimist, but he said he doesn't have to.

"That’s the beauty of these predictions that it’s so short-term that we will see," Abbott said.

Thomas currently lives in Florida but said he hopes to soon move to California because "it's more fun to be close to the action."

He hopes his predictions will ease the minds of people who are paranoid about earthquakes and lead them to properly prepare and avoid roadways when possible.

"It's very exciting," Thomas said of his work. "The more accurate I become with analyzing these earthquakes, it’s a relief for me, and it’s very exciting."

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