Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 57, Issue 1, pages 215–221, January 2012
Article first published online: 19 AUG 2011
© 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Abstract: This paper expands on Archer (J Forensic Sci 49, 2004, 553), examining additional factors affecting ambient temperature correction of weather station data in forensic entomology. Sixteen hypothetical body discovery sites (BDSs) in Victoria and New South Wales (Australia), both in autumn and in summer, were compared to test whether the accuracy of correlation was affected by (i) length of correlation period; (ii) distance between BDS and weather station; and (iii) periodicity of ambient temperature measurements. The accuracy of correlations in data sets from real Victorian and NSW forensic entomology cases was also examined. Correlations increased weather data accuracy in all experiments, but significant differences in accuracy were found only between periodicity treatments. We found that a >5°C difference between average values of body in situ and correlation period weather station data was predictive of correlations that decreased the accuracy of ambient temperatures estimated using correlation. Practitioners should inspect their weather data sets for such differences.