Forensic Meteorology – Part 1

The work of a Certified Consulting Meteorologist isn’t always forward thinking. Quite often we’re doing the reverse, taking all the weather data we can find and using it to reconstruct weather conditions at a particular time a years ago.

That’s the work of a forensic meteorologist.

crimesceneThe accident or crime may have occurred a month ago or 10 years ago.  The crime may be a robbery or murder. The accident may be an airplane or auto crash, or it may have been at a construction site.

Or one of many other situations: Wildfire, leaking basements, kidnappings — or something else.

Forensic meteorologists are hired by law enforcement and attorneys who need to know exactly what the weather was like at a particular moment in time. Being “close” is not good enough – all that matters is that the description, the picture of what was happening with the weather is accurate.

Sometimes the result is neither what the forensic meteorologist’s client expects nor wants, but all that matters is the truth.

The accuracy of the forensic meteorologist’s findings is extremely important. At some point a jury trial may be involved and that’s when inaccuracy, fudging and sloppy work will be found out either during deposition or on the witness stand.

Next week:  What we do to develop our findings.

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