Lead NOAA scientist vows to probe agency's defense of Trump

Cheryl Sanders
September 11, 2019

"These are the people risking their lives flying into hurricanes and putting out forecasts that save lives".

Henson on September 2 authored a joint submit with Jeff Masters for Climate Underground which commented on Trump's touch upon September 1, made the identical day he tweeted concerning the purported hazard to Alabama, that "I'm undecided I've ever even heard of a Class 5" - although Trump had publicly commented about Class 5 storms not less than twice earlier than, as soon as throughout Hurricane Irma in 2017 and once more throughout Hurricane Michael in 2018.

"Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian".

The storm stayed far east of the state.

"In an address to the National Weather Association, in Huntsville, Ala., NOAA behaving Administrator Neil Jacobs reported that the" purpose" of this bureau's unsigned statement on Friday in defense of Trump was" would be to describe the technical aspects and possible consequences of Dorian".

The newspaper says the threat is what prompted an unsigned statement by NOAA later that day, saying that Hurricane Dorian "could impact Alabama" and criticising the Birmingham NWS tweet as "inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time".

It pointed to advisory maps that appears to show between a 5 and 20 percent chance of tropical storm-force winds hitting a portion of Alabama at some point between August 25 and 30.

According to The New York Times report, Ross, whose department oversees NOAA, directed the weather officials "to fix the agency's perceived contradiction of the president" at the tweet by the NWS's Birmingham office.


A spokesperson for the Commerce Department denied the Times' story in a statement to CNN. "Gravity is gravity. Heat is heat", Alan Sealls, a meteorologist from Mobile said.

Alabama had never been included in hurricane forecast advisories. "I feel for the men and women at these agencies who just want to do their job without bureaucratic interference".

"My understanding is that this intervention to contradict the forecaster was not based on science but on external factors including reputation and appearance, or simply put, political", McLean said.

Past NOAA administrators, a former National Weather Service chief and a former National Hurricane Center director - among others - have blasted the NOAA statement as inappropriate, saying they supported the chastised Alabama weather office.

He said the situation is serious because people rely on information from NOAA in making decisions when there is a threat of a hurricane. It was only later that they found out the source of the mistaken information, he said.

So the office was right to dispel those fears, Shepherd said.

The White House has yet to respond to questions first asked Friday about whether Trump or anyone at the White House was involved in how the initial statement from NOAA came about.

McLean said the agency's statement "inappropriately and incorrectly contradicted the NWS forecaster" for political, not scientific, reasons.


Mr Trump tweeted over the weekend that the so-called "Sharpie-gate" scandal was "fake news" kept alive artificially by a hostile media.

"That was the original chart, and you see it was going to hit not only Florida but Georgia", Trump claimed in the Oval Office while displaying the map.

The fiasco began when the president erroneously tweeted that Alabama would be hit by the hurricane.

"You know, I really have no idea".

"As everybody in this room understands, prediction models vary", he explained.

Another Democratic lawmaker, Jim Himes of CT, told CNN if the report is true "that would be the most blatant use of an official position in the service of the ego and the political fortunes of the president that we have ever seen".

"I think the speech speaks for itself", Laws said.


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