Meteorology Consulting & Weather Information

Case Descriptions

Some examples of how Shade Tree Meteorology, LLC has assisted our clients:

In the western United States, a camper in a group led by a professional guide died in a flash flood.

Using our meteorological experience and data from the public record we were able to answer the following questions:

  1. What public Watches and Warnings were in effect when the campsite was chosen?
  2. How much rain fell over the canyon that flooded, where and when?
  3. Exactly when did the wall of water arrive at the campsite and how deep was it?
  4. How unusual was this event and how well predicted was it?

As a result, our client, the plaintiff's attorney, was able to argue successfully that the professional guide should have known to choose a less flood threatened campsite in this situation.

In the New York City metropolitan area, a delivery driver fell on slippery conditions in the loading area of a warehouse.

Using surface and radar weather data from the public record along with the plaintiff’s own testimony as to weather conditions, we were able to answer the following questions:

  1. What public Watches and Warnings were in effect at the time?
  2. When did the snowfall begin on the morning of the accident?
  3. How long had there been no precipitation prior to that time?

As a result, our client, the defendant’s attorney, was able to argue successfully that the slippery conditions were a result of the snowfall from an ongoing storm on the morning of the incident, and thus the defendant was not liable for damages.

In the Midwest, a young man was electrocuted and sustained permanent physical damage as he threw a generator backup switch on a summer afternoon.

Using our meteorological experience and data from the public record as well as privately archived lightning strike data, we were able to answer the following questions:

  1. What public Watches and Warnings were in effect at the time?
  2. How near were the nearest lightning strikes within 15 minutes of the incident?
  3. What was the timing of any wind gusts in the vicinity of the incident?
  4. From radar data, what generated the gusts?

Our results, when combined with reports from a team of other scientific experts, allowed our client, the plaintiff's attorney, to argue successfully that the power flowing through the switch arm, which injured the plaintiff, was not the result of a lightning strike but rather was power to ground resulting from a power line that had been downed by a tree being blown over by less than severe magnitude winds. Thus the power company accepted responsibility for the event and settled with the plaintiff.

Along the Northeast Atlantic Coast, a cargo handler slipped on ice on a concrete loading ramp, resulting in extensive injuries.

Using our knowledge of meteorological science and data from the public record we were able to answer the following questions:

  1. Why was there ice in the area, in spite of temperatures above freezing? 
  2. How did the humidity level and wind velocity affect the ice formation?
  3. How long had dry winds been affecting the area?
  4. How did poor maintenance of the loading ramp contribute to the ice formation?

As a result, our client, the plaintiff's attorney, was able to argue successfully that the large potholes in the loading ramp had accumulated water, which froze to ice in the evaporative cooling situation. Meanwhile the rest of the ramp where there were no potholes was dry because the water had completely evaporated. Thus the defendant was liable due to poor maintenance of the concrete ramp.

In the central Gulf Coast Region, a warehouse roof collapsed causing extensive damage to the building and its contents.

Using our weather radar experience and surface and radar data from the public record we were able to answer the following questions:

  1. What public Watches and Warnings were in effect at the time?
  2. How much rain and hail fell in the immediate vicinity of the incident?
  3. What was the timing and direction of wind gusts in the vicinity of the incident?
  4. What generated the gusts and how strong were they?

Our results, when combined with reports from a team of other scientific experts, allowed our client, the defendant’s attorney. to argue successfully that the collapse was caused by the combination of very localized conditions including a foot of hail, several inches of water and a downburst wind in excess of 70 miles per hour and that those conditions were extreme enough to cause the collapse even though the building was built well within code requirements. (i.e., this event constituted an “act of god”).

In a small town in the Appalachian Mountains, a shopping plaza flooded during summer thunderstorms. A sidewalk reconstruction project was underway in front of the plaza when the incident occurred.

Using surface and radar weather data from the public record in conjunction with our understanding of radar data and its detailed analysis, we were able to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the drainage area feeding the location of the incident?
  2. How much rain fell in the immediate drainage area feeding the plaza?
  3. In what amount of time did that rain fall?
  4. What was the return frequency for that rainfall event?

As a result, our client, the defendant’s attorney, was able to argue successfully that the rainfall event was so unusually heavy that flooding of the plaza was inevitable given the amount of rainfall and the terrain, and that the construction project was not a factor in the flooding. Thus the defendant was not liable for damages.

severe weather

Snowplow in New York blizzard

The Weather Coalition
American Meteorological Society
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NCIM
National Weather Association
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