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The Weather Is The Weather, Right?

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

Occasionally, one of our customers contacts us for help with a case that we have previously worked on for another client.  In these instances, we refuse the order due to the conflict of interest taking the case would create. The next question typically is “Why can’t you help me?  The weather is what it is, right?”  The answer is:  not always.

Although our professional opinion about the weather conditions at a specific location and time is based on accepted and proven practices within the meteorological community and certifiable weather data, it is just that – a professional opinion.  Can it differ from another weather expert’s professional opinion?  Yes! For this reason, we are often asked to review the reports of weather experts working for the other side of a case in addition to providing our own expert opinion. There may be subtle (or not so subtle) differences in those opinions that may be enough to swing the outcome drastically in one direction or the other.  We have also found instances where a meteorologist has overlooked a key piece of data (such as Doppler radar images) or used data from non-certifiable sites (i.e. home, educational or experimental weather stations) that can change the opinion/conclusion substantially.

Contacting CompuWeather early in the claims or litigation process increases the possibility that we will be available to provide you with the expert assistance you need to achieve a positive and fair outcome for your client.