POLITICS

NOAA Disavows Birmingham's National Weather Service Tweet Contradicting Trump

NOAA issued an unsigned statement saying that NWS Birmingham's tweet contradicting Trump was "inconsistent" with data at that time.

The drama over President Donald Trump’s incorrect tweet about Alabama and Hurricane Dorian continues as a federal agency publicly denounced the National Weather Service’s Birmingham station for contradicting the president.

In a brief statement attributed to an anonymous official, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that NWS Birmingham misspoke when it tweeted that Alabama would not see any effects from Dorian.

NWS Birmingham “spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time,” the statement read.

The unnamed NOAA official also claimed that the information it provided to Trump last weekend showed that Dorian could produce tropical-storm-force winds in the state.

To prove its point, the agency included a link to a probability model predicting that there was a 5% to 10% probability that tropical force storm winds would affect Alabama for a few days.

However, meteorologist Ryan Maue pointed out that another model from Sept. 1, when Trump first sent his tweet, showed that Alabama “was definitely outside of any threat cone.”

On Sunday, as Hurricane Dorian made its way toward the Carolinas, Trump warned several states, including Alabama, about “one of the largest hurricanes ever,” tweeting that those states would “most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”

Less than a half-hour later, NWS Birmingham corrected Trump by notifying residents that they would “NOT see any impacts” from Dorian.

“The system will remain too far east,” the state weather agency tweeted.

Though the clash happened last weekend, Trump continued to defend his tweet and complain about the flak he’s received over media reports that point out that he was wrong.

The president held a hurricane briefing on Wednesday and presented a map with old data showing Dorian’s trajectory. The map also appeared to be modified with a black marking that encompassed part of Alabama.

Trump continued to air his grievances on Twitter, slamming the “Fake News.” He also walked his original tweet back by saying that “Alabama was going to be hit or grazed” before Dorian “took a different path.”

And in another attempt to prove he wasn’t wrong, the president tweeted an edited video of a CNN segment that noted Alabama might feel the effects of the hurricane. 

The video ended with a clip of the CNN logo juxtaposed over a vehicle involved in a fiery crash.

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