Phil delivers presentations on topics as varied as severe weather to birding and climate change. He delivered the CANWARN training for severe weather spotters for many years. The following EnviroZine article is about his favourite subject where art and weather meet! In 2006, Phil toured across Canada a delivered versions of his "Art and Weather" presentation to at least 16 CMOS Branches. The presentations were held in the local art gallery or museum to help bridge any gap between science and the arts.

A presentation at the Agonquin Theatre in Huntsville in support of the local Anglican Church.A discussion after the presentation at the Lord Beaverbrook Gallery in Frederickton, New BrunswickEnvironment Canada's EnviroZine

Forensic Meteorology – Where Art and Weather Meet

Tom Thomson's Zeppelins - This is a painting of a warm front and conditional symmetric instability (actual CSI). Tom also painted jet stream cirrus. There were no contrails in 1916. Weather is a constant inconstant in this world: happening and changing in each place, in each moment, throughout history. It is measured and reported on by weather stations across Canada every day of the year but these reports are only snapshots of weather's unrest.

At times a meteorologist needs to know more about a particular moment in weather history. For instance, Environment Canada meteorologists are often asked to act as an expert consultant or witness in civil and criminal trials or in environmental regulatory applications. In these instances the science of forensic climatology would be used to collect, interpret and analyze historical atmospheric data.

At other times meteorological research and observation are simply for the sake of better understanding and appreciation. "Meteorologists watch the sky, the winds and the temperature 24/7", says Phil Chadwick, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. "I have tried to learn and continue to learn by asking questioning and examining the sky… this includes paintings and photos of severe weather. I have learned a lot about severe convection through art although I have never seen a tornado. Most people want to see a tornado before they die ... but not just before they die!"

Weather through the Eyes of Canadian Artists

Aside from his work as a meteorologist, Phil is also a recognized artist with a passion for painting the natural world. Over the years Phil has brought together his knowledge of weather phenomena and his eye for artwork in a speaker series on an area of research that he calls forensic meteorology. Forensic meteorology is the analytical method Phil has used to deduce the time, orientation and weather surrounding events captured in the over 150 pieces of artwork that he has examined. Many of these paintings of weather events are described to be the art that best defines Canadian society.

During his presentations, Weather through the Eyes of Canadian Artists, Phil Chadwick presents about 30 paintings (out of about 200 that he has analyzed) for which he has applied forensic meteorology. Through his descriptions of the artwork, those interested in weather phenomena can gain knowledge about historical weather events captured in art, while art enthusiasts can gain a new appreciation for the weather events that plein air artists were trying to capture on canvas.

Phil's art analysis includes works by Canadian artists Tom Thomson and all of the Group of Seven who were particularly accurate observers of the natural world.

This is Tom Thomson's tornado. It was a "F2" at least, and I can prove it.. The painting is called "Thunderhead". There weren't many severe weather meteorologists back in 1912 otherwise it might have been called "Wall Cloud" or "Tornado".