The weather seems to have a greater impact on death rates in some of the hot climates that attract people for health reasons than it does in the towns they left behind, a Mississippi State University geographer reports.

Mark Binkley told a meeting of the Association of American Geographers on Monday that, of a dozen cities studied, the greatest correlation between death rates and weather occurred in Phoenix and in Sacramento, Calif.High temperatures, high humidity, low visibility and low wind speed were the four factors that Binkley found most closely related to death rates. Heart disease seemed to be a major source of the deaths that varied with the weather, Binkley added following his speech.

He confirmed that there is also some rise in deaths in cold, snowy weather in northern cities such as Rochester, N.Y., and Minneapolis but said that the increase seems to be more significant in the warm-weather communities.