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CEO DATELINE – Meteorological society blasts NOAA defense of Trump tweet

Sept. 9, 2019
By Walt Williams

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The American Meteorological Society is standing firm with the scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after the agency’s leadership sent out a statement Sept. 6 defending President Donald Trump’s inaccurate claim that Hurricane Dorian threatened Alabama.
As Dorian approached the East Coast of the U.S., Trump at one point tweeted that Alabama was at risk from the storm. His mistake apparently was based on an outdated forecast that showed a small chance of winds from the storm hitting the state. The National Weather Service’s office in Birmingham quickly corrected the error, but the president has continued to insist he was correct.

NOAA released an unsigned statement last Friday backing up Trump’s claim, but meteorologists and other scientists have slammed the agency for that decision. AMS joined the criticism with its own statement, saying the group supports its colleagues at NOAA, “who consistently put the safety of the American public first and foremost.”

“With respect to the press release that was issued by NOAA on Friday, 6 September, regarding the forecast of Hurricane Dorian, AMS believes the criticism of the Birmingham forecast office is unwarranted; rather they should have been commended for their quick action based on science in clearly communicating the lack of threat to the citizens of Alabama,” AMS said.

Since then, NOAA’s acting chief scientist Craig McLean has announced he will investigate the decision of the agency to support Trump’s claim, calling the response “political” and “a danger to public health and safety,” the Washington Post reported.