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Blowin' in the Wind, Issue #029 Murder and accident history on forensic meteorology - March 30, 2006
March 30, 2006
Hello ,

Event history on forensic meteorology

Do we need to study weather history on forensic meteorology inquiries? Forensic meteorologists analyze past conditions and reorganize the data to rebuild the scenario under which certain incidents may have occurred.

Typically, insurance companies and police departments need correct meteorological data in order to determine how things may have happened. Things such as accidents and crime, storm aftermath and claims for property damage and injury. Even lightning strikes or murder detective work.

In investigations like this, meteorologists often work in connection with lawyers. This type of forensic scientist consulting is sometimes known as litigation support.

Professionals in this field use data from local observations, such as nearby airports. Satellite and radar imagery are recorded constantly and can be inspected retroactively to determine what kind of clouds and precipitation was occurring at any given time. Is this good enough? Not always.

Other sources of information

Bystanders and other people in the vicinity can also be interviewed after the fact to find out if they noticed any conditions which may possibly lead to the mishap being investigated. Their information may confirm or contradict official evidence. Either way, it offers a perspective not obtained elsewhere.

There would have been many forensic meteorologists consulted after major incidents such as the Challenger Shuttle disaster or plane crashes. Past weather data is useful for a lot of things.

History on forensic meteorology

When was forensic meteorology first used? Long before these incidents I'm sure. Maybe Noah would have used one of these advisors, if he could find one 40 days later.

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