The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a statement late Friday night disavowing a tweet from the National Weather Service's office in Birmingham, Alabama that disputed President Donald Trump's insistence that Alabama was in the path of the devastating storm. The NOAA claimed Trump was given information from Aug. 28 through Sept. 2 that Alabama could be impacted by the hurricane.
"From Wednesday, August 28, through Monday, September 2, the information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama," the statement, attributed to an unnamed NOAA spokesperson, read, reports CNN.
"This is clearly demonstrated in Hurricane Advisories #15 through #41, which can be viewed on the center's website," the statement continued. "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."
The statement surprised some on Twitter, including those in the meteorology community. Dan Sobien, the president of the NWS Employees Organization, slammed the statement.
"Let me assure you the hard working employees of the NWS had nothing to do with the utterly disgusting and disingenuous tweet sent out by NOAA management tonight," Sobien tweeted.
"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, a retired Naval officer and a former NOAA COO, tweeted.
"The tweet from NWS Birmingham was spot on and accurate. If they are coming after them, they might as well come after me. How in the world has it come to this?" Alabama meteorologist James Spann tweeted.
The NWS Birmingham tweet in question said the state "will NOT" be impacted by the storm.
"Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east," the tweet read.
Even as Dorian moves up the East Coast after at least 30 people were killed in the Bahamas over the weekend, Trump's claim that Alabama would feel an impact from Dorian has become a major topic in Washington. It all started on Sunday morning when Trump included Alabama in a list of states that "will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated." However, by the time Trump posted the tweet, Alabama was no longer in the storm's path.
During a briefing with reporters late Sunday, Trump said Alabama "could even be in for at least some very strong winds and something more than that, it could be."0comments
Those remarks earned more criticism, which inspired Trump to show an altered map of a NOAA forecast on Wednesday that showed a black line drawn with a marker to include Alabama in the storm's track. Since then, Trump has sent several tweets standing by his claim that Alabama was in Dorian's path. In one tweet on Friday, Trump said there has been "four days of corrupt reporting, still without an apology."
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