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Oxymoron: Site-Specific Certified Weather Report

Contributed by Patti Robertson, CompuWeather Forensic Order Specialist and Account Executive

At least once a day, a client requests a “certified report” from CompuWeather, but when questioned further it becomes clear that what they really want is a site-specific analysis prepared by one of our forensic meteorologists. Then the client will ask “Can I get the report certified?”. The short answer is “no”. A meteorological report is considered to be the analysis/interpretation/opinion of the author and therefore is not able to be certified. It is, for all legal purposes, hearsay. However, what can be certified is the weather data which was selected and analyzed in order to prepare the expert’s report. This data includes the ground reporting stations, storm data and also Doppler radar images, when utilized. Weather data, certified or not, is not site-specific (unless the incident occurred at the airport!), so the meteorologist’s report is vital to determining what happened at the loss location.

So if you need a “site-specific certified weather report”, you really need 2 things: a report prepared by one of our experts PLUS certified copies of the weather data used to prepare that report. We typically suggest that you order both at the same time to ensure that you do not experience panic when you discover you do not have the certified data in your file just a few short days prior to your trial.