Weather and Temperature Collection

It is usually essential to the success of a forensic entomological examination to obtain accurate weather data for the site of collection (Haskell and Williams 1990; Haskell et al. 2000; Amendt et al. 2007). Some research has been done to improve the accuracy of pre-discovery scene temperature estimates based on post-discovery measurements at the scene and at the nearest weather station (Archer 2004). Given the complicated and confounding effects of variation in microclimate when extrapolating from conditions at one site to another, we expect that forensic entomologists will further investigate techniques for accurately estimating past crime scene environmental conditions. Preliminary results indicate that satellite weather data is very strongly correlated to actual conditions (Hunt 2005). Therefore, we anticipate that forensic entomologists will increasingly rely on weather satellites for this purpose, and cooperate hand-in-hand with a meteorologist (Archer 2004; Scala and Wallace 2005; Amendt et al. 2007).

When collecting temperature data at the scene, perhaps the temperature of maggot masses should be recorded. As pointed out (Turner and Howard 1992; Ireland and Turner 2006), the temperature inside maggot masses can be much higher then the ambient temperature, creating a microclimate for potentially faster development of the maggots.

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