Report: Weather May or May Not Be the Reason You Didn't Murder Anyone

In a shining example of "correlation does not imply causation," two reporters for the Baltimore Sun were unable to determine whether or not the cold weather in Baltimore this winter made people less likely to murder each other.

The article came about after "many on social media" wondered if Baltimore, Maryland's drop in murders to 30-year lows during February and March had anything to do with the cold weather the city saw this winter.

While many crimes show seasonal trends, Gary LaFree, a criminology and criminal justice professor at the University of Maryland, said cold weather does not have as much of an impact on homicides because many are domestic-related. That can cause monthly homicide totals to tick upward in winter because so many people live in close confines.

Comparing weather data with historic monthly homicide figures shows no clear correlation.

Summer consistently sees a peak in murder rates — and winter a lull — but a 1952 study by Gerhard Falk concluded that "crimes against the person" aren't linked to temperatures themselves.

Many cities around the country, including Chicago, New York, Detroit, and LA, all saw a decline in the total number of murders within city limits in 2013.

[Image via AP]