The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service, has issued a statement backing up Donald Trump’s ongoing assertion that Alabama was, at one time, a possible target of Hurricane Dorian.
From the Washington Post:
In a statement released Friday afternoon, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated Alabama was in fact threatened by the storm at the time Trump tweeted Alabama would “most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”
Referencing archived hurricane advisories, the NOAA statement said that information provided to the president and the public between Aug. 28 and Sept. 2 “demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama.”
The WaPo goes on to report that on August 29, when the president was briefed by acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs, any risk to Alabama had become highly unlikely. By the time Trump tweeted about the Alabama threat on Sunday morning, no credible computer model showed any risk to the state.
NOAA also clapped back at its own National Weather Service office in Birmingham, Ala., which had contradicted Trump’s tweet (without naming Trump) writing, “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian.”
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) September 1, 2019
“The Birmingham National Weather Service’s Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time,” wrote NOAA’s leadership.
‘Absolute terms’ and ‘probabilities’ aside, the Birmingham office ended up being correct, and Trump was wrong. Alabama was not ‘hit (much) harder than anticipated.’
Responding to the statement from NOAA, the organization’s former chief operating officer, David Titley, tweeted this:
Perhaps the darkest day ever for @noaa leadership. Don’t know how they will ever look their workforce in the eye again. Moral cowardice.
— David Titley (@dwtitley) September 6, 2019