A professor says the heat index and the crime rate can connect.

“Lifestyle differences exist between cold weather and warm weather,” says James Alan Fox, a professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy at Northeastern University in Boston.

Fox has conducted research on the possible connection between temperature and crime. His findings illustrate how these lifestyle differences can contribute to varying levels of violent crime.

“In cold weather, particularly in blizzards, people stay indoors, and the violent crime rate is lower. When the weather is warm, people are interacting more with others, be they friends, family, or strangers, so there are increased opportunities for conflict,” Fox says.

Fox says this trend continues except when it gets incredibly hot, so unbearable that even criminals become lethargic.

“When it gets to be in the high 90s, especially over 100 degrees, people just go indoors and look for air conditioning,” Fox said.