How far should an acoustical consultant go to investigate enhanced noise propagation due to atmospheric effects? This paper was inspired by recent updates to Victorian noise policy, which includes more stringent requirements for consideration of atmospheric effects. The authors have identified an opportunity for development of a consolidated practical method for acoustical consultants to apply in Australian conditions. Predictive calculations implementing various standards can estimate atmospheric effects based on either broad assumptions, subjective observations, or detailed weather data. Acoustical consultants are often reliant on incomplete and potentially irrelevant weather data. This includes data from sources such as public weather stations far away or local weather stations close to ground level. This paper is the first part of a two-part study designed to inform a best practice method for acoustical consultants assessing atmospheric effects with respect to enhanced noise propagation. Part one, this paper, will review the current state of knowledge including different policy approaches and predictive standards. Part two would be a field study with concurrent detailed measurements of atmospheric conditions and noise levels to inform appropriate weather data collection methods and predictive standards for Australian conditions.