On Demand

Meteorology and the Law: Hazardous Weather Preparedness and Litigation


Created on October 25, 2021





Failure to prepare in advance for weather events, either as a result of misinformation or lack of knowledge about how to do so, is the cause of many weather-related lawsuits. Proper preparation in advance of both minor and major weather hazards can protect lives and property and create a more resilient community in the face of a changing climate. This course will present a survey of the field of forensic meteorology, including a discussion of the types of cases on which meteorologists work and how a meteorologist analyzes weather data in order to reconstruct past weather events. A case example of a slip and fall on snow and ice in the Northeast U.S. will be presented to illustrate how lack of preparedness led to litigation, the meteorological research process, and discuss the retention of expert meteorologists and use of meteorological analyses in litigation to develop and support common legal defenses including lack of notice and storm in progress.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore the history of forensic meteorology
  2. Review how a meteorological analysis is constructed
  3. Use meteorological reports to advise clients

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