Trump Is ‘Celebrating His Own Ignorance’ on Hurricane Dorian Claims — CNN’s Stelter

Clay Curtis
September 11, 2019

The National Weather Service sent a memo last week to staffers directing them to focus on Hurricane Dorian and not "national level social media posts", an apparent reference to false claims made by President Donald Trump that the storm would impact Alabama. And we all suffer when federal science agencies like NOAA subvert the ability of scientists to do their jobs and tell us what they know.

Hours after Trump erroneously tweeted that Alabama would be among the states "hit (much) harder than anticipated" by the storm last week, staff for the National Weather Service, a part of NOAA, received an agencywide directive, per the Post's report.

NOAA is the definitive supply of climate info within the nation. "And I'm afraid this is an example where this is beginning to occur". "I am thankful for the folks at NWS Birmingham for their work in keeping the citizens of Alabama informed and up to date on weather hazards". "You have science organizations putting out statements against their own offices". I said, VERY EARLY ON, that it MAY EVEN hit Alabama.

Other meteorologists also voiced concerns about NOAA's actions on Friday. NOAA officers additionally didn't reply to requests for remark. After spending the morning at his Virginia golf club, Trump tweeted that he'd like to move on from the matter but the news media "won't leave it alone". Among them are former NOAA leaders and a former disaster response chief.

Titley said Saturday it was risky because of the mistrust NOAA is now injecting in forecasts that can help people with life-or-death decisions on whether to evacuate. To think this embarrassment is limited to a crude drawing on a map is to overlook just how far the president and his team took this potentially unsafe charade, and what this tells others throughout the USA government - scientists, intelligence officials, diplomats, et al. - about what happens to those who provide facts at odds with the leader's preferred script. "I think this can potentially feed that", Titley stated. No NOAA Administrator I worked for would have done this.

And Justin Kenney, who headed the agency's communications in the Obama administration, said "by politicizing weather forecasts, the president. puts more people - including first responders - in harm's way". If it is the former, the statement shows a lack of understanding of how to use probabilistic forecasts in conjunction with other forecast information. There have actually been at least four hurricanes that have been categorized as category 5 since his presidency and he's even admitted to witnessing one during a visit to Tyndall Air Force Base.

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On the time, the hurricane middle's forecast path - together with a big cone of uncertainty - didn't go farther west than the japanese third of Georgia.

The weather service in Birmingham quickly followed up with a tweet, which one meteorologist there said was prompted by residents' concerns about what to do. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama.

The storm that has already walloped the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and North Carolina is now bringing hurricane-force winds to far-eastern Canada. "The current forecast path of Dorian does not include Alabama", Vaccaro said at the time.

NOAA's disavowal of the Birmingham tweet got here late Friday. Maps on August 30 grew to cover far more of Alabama, but for only 12 hours, and the highest percentage hit 20% to 30% before quickly shrinking back down.

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