What is forensic meteorology?

Careers in Meteorology Read more from
Chapter Modern Meterology

With the popularity of the CSI television series there has been a meteoric rise in students enrolling in forensic science courses. Forensics draws on a wide variety of sciences in order to solve criminal cases. For instance, there was one episode of CSI in which a character used his knowledge of astronomy to locate a murder scene. Meteorological principles can also be used in forensics, which is frequently applied to criminal or insurance investigations. Meteorologists have been called to testify in court, serve as consultants, or perform research for government agencies, law firms, and private businesses. Using data from satellites, radar, and other sources, a meteorologist could, for example, testify as to the possibility of a building fire being caused by lightning, or whether or not wind conditions could be responsible for an airplane crashing shortly after takeoff, or whether hazy conditions leading to a car accident were the result of nature or a nearby factory. Qualification as a Certified Consulting Meteorologist is typically required to work as a forensic meteorologist.

A good place to start a job search is the Job Board postings on the American Meteorological Society’s website at If at all possible, start building career connections as early as you can—preferably while you are still in school, through work internships and contacts through your professors or other people you meet.


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