Weather in the Courtroom

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Weather in the Courtroom

Memoirs from a Career in Forensic Meteorology
William H. Haggard
Copyright: 2016
ISBN: 978-1-940033-95-2
List Price: $30.00
Member Price: $20.00
Student Price: $20.00

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Title information

Pages: 240
Publisher: American Meteorological Society
Edition: First
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For a society enthralled by courtroom drama, forensics, and natural disasters, Weather in the Courtroom is a perfect storm: an exciting inside scoop on legendary court cases where the weather may—or may not—have played a crucial role. Were the disappearance of an Alaskan congressman’s plane in 1972, the collapse of Tampa Bay’s Skyway Bridge in 1980, and the crash of Delta Flight 191 in Dallas/Fort Worth in 1985 natural or human-caused disasters? William H. Haggard recounts both the meteorological facts and human stories of high-profile cases for which he served as an expert witness, revealing just how critical the interpretation of weather and climate data in the courtroom is to our understanding of what happened—and who, if anyone, is at fault.

William H. Haggard

William H. Haggard is a former director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and an American Meteorological Society certified consulting meteorologist, fellow, and honorary member. In the late 1960s and early ’70s, he witnessed an explosion in the number of requests from attorneys needing weather data for their cases. But while the NCDC offered data certified by the Department of Commerce that could be submitted as evidence in a court of law, government meteorologists were not allowed to interpret this data in the courtroom. In their place, pioneering forensic meteorologists stepped in to serve as expert witnesses.