Learning Lab

Weather data and expertise that you can rely on in court

Weather data and expertise that you can rely on in court

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Michael Lepage
Senior Consultant | Principal
+1.519.823.1311 x2228
Go to Michael Lepage's page


April 27, 2017
12:00 PM, Toronto (GMT-4)
60 min


Forensic meteorology can be applied to cases of personal injury as well as flood, wind and snow damage that do not involve personal injury. Many legal claims depend on accurate weather-related facts – particularly past weather at a specific place and time. 

Examples of the types of questions that may need to be answered: 

  • Could ice have formed on a sidewalk, possibly being the cause of a slip-and-fall due to salt and/or sand not being applied? 
  • Was there enough snow and ice load on an industrial building’s roof to be the cause of its collapse, injuring someone inside the building? 
  • Was the wind a factor in the bridge collapse? 
  • Should we have known the water would rise to this height? 
  • Was the poor air quality caused by Factory X? 
  • Did the fog prevent the driver of an approaching car from seeing the vehicle that was stalled on the roadway? 

Previously, these types of questions were hard to answer reliably and accurately enough to be defensible in court. This meant that it was difficult to decide cases based on weather situations. 

Recent improvements in meteorological science, better data, and more robust computer-based weather models have helped us re-create the weather at a given place and time, more accurately. This gives lawyers and forensic engineers access to more certainty when it comes to weather-related cases. 


  1. You will gain a deeper understanding of how the atmosphere works, and be able to represent your clients better; 
  2. You will understand what traditional forensic meteorology is, and what type of errors may be involved; 
  3. You will learn what is “new” today in weather re-creations and how these advancements can help you; 
  4. You will learn how much more accurate these new developments are compared to the traditional approach; and 
  5. You will learn how weather information has been successfully used in a number of historical investigations/cases.