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Meteorologist Environmental Scientist Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Meteorologist, Environmental Scientist, Forecaster, Geophysical Data Analyst, Climatology, Ecology, Geography, Hydrology, Meterology, Oceanography, Pedology, Precipitation, Sever Weather, Extreme Weather, Flood, Drought Analysis, Satellite, Radar, Drainage Area, Surface Attributes, Tornado, Wind, Hail, Flashflooding, Snow, Ice Accumulation Causing Accidents, Solar Position Calculation, Wind, Fire, Visibility, Dust Storms, Wind, Fog, Fire Behavior

Professional Experience:

Consultant Research and Forensic Meteorologist, Environmental Scientist, Expert Witness, Forecaster

(March 2007 to present)

As a consulting expert witness – some topics addressed for clients have involved the following:

  • Consult as an Expert Meteorologist, Environmental Scientist, and Geophysical Data Analyst for court cases and insurance claims (over 100 cases to date), and requested research projects. This includes testimony under oath. Confirm the accuracy or validity of environmental data, and associated conditions, and analyze their role in each case, with specific focus on the interaction between the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface, and on construction materials and design, and methods of mitigation. Environmental conditions assessed have included topics in climatology, ecology, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, and pedology.

Some topics addressed for clients have involved the following:

  • Precipitation, severe or extreme weather, flood and drought analysis with integration of satellite, radar, drainage area, and surface attributes data
    • Severe weather such as tornado, wind, hail, or flash flooding
    • Delay in or cancellation of construction as a result of adverse weather conditions
    • Snow and/or ice accumulation causing accidents, damage from tree or roof loading
    • Slip-and-fall or auto/truck accidents resulting from ice accumulation
    • Thermal stress and temperature variation effects on surfaces
    • Agricultural losses from extreme heat stress or frost and freeze
    • Evaporation role in water and ice involved in slips and falls, or water supply.
    • Transportation accidents involving various adverse weather and road conditions
    • Hydrologic engineering design involvement in poor drainage, flooding, water shortages, or erosion
    • Agriculture loss from adverse short-term weather or long-term climate conditions
  • Precise solar position calculation to determine the role of the sun in various cases
    • Sun glare inhibiting vision
    • Sun or moon role in lighting conditions affecting eyewitness perception
    • Direct sunlight vs shadow effect on icy or wet surfaces, or surface material heating
  • Wind, fire, and visibility assessments – dust storms, wind, fog, or fire behavior involved in litigation
    • Smoke, air pollution and chemical plume dispersion causing damage to health or agriculture
    • Reduced visibility from fog, dust, or smoke causing auto/truck accidents
    • Wind influence on fire behavior or formation of dust storms
    • Wind, wind loading, and storm damage assessments to property structures and trees
  • Environmental analysis in light of surrounding land cover, geography, and overlying weather
    • Spread of pollutants in watersheds, including Superfund sites
    • Assessment of water availability or flood potential based on past to current precipitation trends
    • Investigation of weather and environmental conditions involved in water quality
    • Causes of poor air quality in various geographic settings
    • Energy output analyses for solar and wind renewable energy installations
  • Installation and calibration or assessment of instrumentation and analysis for site-specific studies
    • Change in land cover or local to regional landscape (such as forest fire/deforestation or urbanization) change in local weather conditions
    • Analysis of large temperature, wind, or precipitation differences over short distances
    • Assessment of sensor data quality in various settings for biases and errors that result in erroneous assessments and subsequent loss.

Additional expert witness information can be supplied through a comprehensive case history list

As a weather forecaster

  • Generate custom weather forecasts along with on-call, now-cast, and warning services for diverse clients, including: Several Hollywood movie studios, television series, special events, TV commercials, commercial and agricultural interests, and others.
    • Movie projects: The Incredible Hulk (Rio de Janeiro – 2008), Narnia: Prince Caspian (Poland, Czech Rep.
      – 2008); Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Tree (Poland, Czech Rep. – 2010) Rambo IV (Thailand – 2008); Vantage Point (Mexico City – 2008); Life of PI (Taiwan – 2012); Superman: Man of Steel (near Chicago area – 2013) & others yet to be officially named.
    • TV series: Hung (2011-2012), True Blood (2010-2013), True Detective (2015), Good Girls (2017)
    • Special events: The Academy Awards – Oscars (2008, 2011), Disneyland and Disneyworld special events (2008-2016), Super Bowl XLIV, XLV (2010, 2011); 2009 Presidential Inauguration Speech; Boston Pops July 4th celebration 2011-2015; NFL kickoff 2011 – Green Bay, Cajun Classic (2015), New Orleans Billfish Tournament (2015-2016), Kennedy Center Honors (2011-2013), Christmas in Washington (2014), Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games (2016)
    • TV commercials: Acura, American Airlines, AT&T, Audi, Chrysler, Disney, Folgers, FX Network, Garnier, Lamborghini, Xbox, and many others (2007-2018).
    • Residential and commercial: Event planning, landscape irrigation, construction scheduling or planning, snow and ice removal, outdoor recreation, and snow to water sports.
    • Agricultural forecasts: Precipitation, evapotranspiration, irrigation scheduling, frost/freeze, heat waves, severe weather.
  • Produce long-term seasonal to annual weather outlooks for clients and for insurance companies, construction, agricultural, renewables, commodities forecasts, and other interests.
    • Assessment of regional climate and comparative prognoses (precipitation, temperature, wind, solar, natural disasters and other hazards risks) from one month to five quarters ahead.
    • Produce succinct to lengthy reports with descriptive graphics based on clients’ internal needs, and for presentation to their stakeholders.
  • Site assessments that consider environmental factors affecting various interests.
    • Engineering and construction risk mitigation, planning, and implementation
    • Research of a facility’s grounds, local geography, and climate for assessment of risks associated with weather conditions like, snow and ice, flooding, heat and sun exposure, and strong winds.
    • Assessment of residential or agricultural water use based on climate (precipitation minus evapotranspiration), soil, and crop usage.
    • Analyses of local climate and environment for potential renewable energy production (hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, wind, and tidal)
    • Assessment of climate, geography, and pollutant sources for long term air quality trends.
    • Storm damage surveys integrating weather conditions and construction materials and methods to determine role of each in resulting observed damage.
    • Analyses of worksite safety protocol and emergency procedures.

Meteorologist, Model Scientist, Consulting Meteorologist

Hydropoint Data Systems, Inc. – Petaluma, CA, USA (March 2009 to October 2010); Logan, UT, USA (2010 to present as a consultant)

  • Supported daily operations, which involved running the WRF numerical weather model at 0.01-degree grid scale and a global climate database.
    • Compared various evapotranspiration calculation methodologies with WRF modeled values as well as tested physics and surface parameterizations in WRF to improve representation of precipitation and evapotranspiration in complex terrain.
    • Improved forecast accuracy and evapotranspiration estimates by analyzing numerical weather model input and output data, as well as creating energy balance based numerical models to interpolate weather parameters between surface stations.
  • Developed surface station data quality assurance algorithms.
  • Developed a model to estimate surface temperatures, and precipitation and evapotranspiration rates from geostationary satellite data, surface data, and atmospheric column data.
  • Grant proposals written:
    • Influence of Land Use and Land Cover Change on Albedo during Snow Cover.
    • Decadal changes in Hadley Cells and their relation to changes in global heat flux and climate.
    • Influence of Anthropogenic Particulate Impurities on Arctic Snow and Ice Cover Albedo.
    • Climate modeling at regional scales considering land use and land cover change.

Air Quality Meteorologist

Sonoma Technology, Inc. – Petaluma, CA, USA (June 2006 to March 2007)

  • Conducted and presented research projects to improve forecast performance by analyzing weather, climate, and geographic conditions conducive to poor air quality.
    • Linked observed extreme PM2.5 values to low boundary layer heights after initial radiation inversion development after sunset.
    • Determined high ozone concentrations near wildfire were attributed to smoke reducing net radiation at the surface, which stabilized the boundary and trapped precursors.
    • Analysis of geographic setting and boundary layer stability in eastern China with emissions combining to create poor air quality
    • Assisted in setup, operation, and maintenance of SODAR including analyzing data to measure boundary layer depth.
  • Forecast daily weather, as well as particulate and Ozone concentrations and administered the weather and climate focus of the EPA’s airnow website.
    • Incorporated a terrain adjustment into the air quality forecast maps to improve spatial representation of air quality.
    • Improved hourly air quality forecasts by adding estimation of boundary layer stability through slope of the diurnal temperature curve compared to the corresponding calculated net radiation.

Instructor

Bridgerland Technical College – Logan, UT, USA (February 2003 to June 2006, February 2008 to June 2012, and June 2014 to present)

  • Develop and improve the curriculum, increase enrollment, improve course material (traditional and online), as well as developing new courses and material for many subjects.
    • Courses taught or tutored include: Earth sciences, such as meteorology, ecology, geology, and oceanography, English reading comprehension, grammar, and mechanics, mathematics,
    • Certified to instruct OSHA Hazwoper full, refresher, and supervisor courses.

Education and Research:

Masters of Science: Atmospheric Sciences – Department of Geological Sciences:

Indiana University – Bloomington, IN, USA (July 2012 – May 2014)

Master’s thesis: Wright, Timothy E. (2014). Quantifying the influence of irrigated agriculture on atmospheric heat content and boundary layer dynamics. Indiana University. https://search.proquest.com/docview/1614531870?accountid=11620

Conference Presentations:

  • Indiana University Crossroads 2013. How much heat is irrigation hiding from local climate records?
  • Indiana University Crossroads 2014. Quantifying the influence of irrigated agriculture on atmospheric heat content and boundary layer dynamics.

Additional Research Topics:

  • Temperature Differences between Boreal Forest and Open Areas in Consideration of Snow and Albedo Effect on Net Radiation and Heat Flux at the
  • Surface (Stephen S. Visher Climatology Paper Award winner 2013)
  • Analysis of Feedbacks within Persistent Temperature Inversions of Enclosed Basins to Improve Local Forecasting

Associate Instructor for the university:

  • Class topics and coursework included: meteorology, geography, geology, and oceanography

Post-graduate research in Bio-meteorology:

Utah State University – Logan, UT, USA (2002-2004)

Research topics and accomplishments:

  • Studied temperature, wind, and evapotranspiration, as well as surface energy balance forcing on boundary layer temperature and humidity.
  • Evaluated oceanic and atmospheric currents and long-term teleconnection effect on marine inversions, rainfall patterns, and tropical cyclones, including global climate modeling.
  • Monitored and evaluated extreme temperature inversions and local boundary layer conditions inside mountain basins and valleys, which resulted in development of surface energy balance and empirical models utilizing topography, land cover, soil, field observations.
  • In the field, installed and maintained weather stations and other sensory equipment
  • Conducted severe storm research in the Great Plains, including assessment of damage.
  • Resulting grant proposal: Impact of Severe Weather on Soil Health (2004 Utah State University grant proposal contest winner):

Course Lecturer/Assistant:

  • Spring semester of BMET2000 (Bio-Meteorology) from 2003-2004.
  • Guest lecturer: LAEP2700 Landscape Architecture (2002-2003) weather and climate section

Bachelor of Science: Geography – Department of Natural Resources:

Utah State University – Logan, UT, USA (January 2000 to May 2002)

Research topics and accomplishments:

  • Emphasis on meteorology, bio-meteorology, climatology, and surface-atmosphere interactions.
  • Senior project: Development of a high-resolution temperature and evapotranspiration forecast model for frost, freeze, and water use concerning agricultural interests.
  • Assessment of theoretical climate extremes based on past climate data record.
  • Classification of topographical-influenced climatological extremes such as valley inversions orographic precipitation and terrain funneling of winds.
  • Implications of orographic lift and proximity of the Great Salt Lake in the distribution of annual precipitation across multiple mountain ranges and valleys in northern Utah.
  • Reassessment of frost-free season in the Intermountain West enclosed valleys considering radiational cooling and strong inversions.
  • Teaching assistant: BMET2000 (Bio-Meteorology) Springs semesters 2000-2002.
  • Transfer of education credit from Santa Rosa Junior College (Environmental Studies – 1999)

Technical Knowledge and Experience:

Software: Microsoft, Mac OS, Linux/Unix environments; geophysical data formats including HDF5, NetCDF, and NOAA WCT (Java); WRF numerical weather model, QGIS, MATLAB, Python, Google Earth Engine (JavaScript), online teaching software.

Hardware and Construction: Mac and PC hardware; Dell server clusters; Weather and environmental sensors and loggers: Campbell Scientific, Davis, HOBO, Sensiron, Vaisala, and others; atmospheric profilers; radiometers; Arduino electronics; construction materials and methods for residential, commercial, and environmental applications, including grading, concrete, framing, flooring, roofing, plumbing, electrical, and other finish work.

Memberships, Awards, and Volunteer Work:

American Meteorological Society
Winner: 2009-2010 American Meteorological Society’s first annual Los Angeles seasonal rainfall forecast contest (Los Angeles Chapter).

“The Weather Challenge” North American Weather Forecasting Challenge
Winner: – top forecaster in North America (2014 – March)
2nd place: Huntsville, AL (2016 – April)

Guest Lecturer in the weather and climate section for SOC2800 Social Statistics in Everyday Life at Utah State University. (Fall 2017)

Guest Lecturer for G540 Physical Meteorology and Climatology at Indiana University. (Fall 2017)

Guest Lecturer in land-atmosphere interactions and use of weather satellite data (GOES 16/17, Himawari 8/9, TERRA/AQUA, JPSS) for PSC6003 Remote Sensing of surfaces at Utah State University. (Spring 2018)

Volunteer payload designer (meteorological sensing suite) and technical advisor to Utah State University’s Rocketry Club (2018 launches

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