Trump's weather campaign takes a potentially unsafe turn

Op-Ed NOAA statement helps Trump tighten his grip on power

Op-Ed NOAA statement helps Trump tighten his grip on power

"I don't think it's hard to understand to him", Christie told ABC News' "This Week" of President Trump's incessant defense of his warning of Hurricane Dorian impacts in the state, including an alleged Sharpie-marked Hurricane Dorian map. "Staff should not provide any opinion about the national level posts and should direct any questions that can not be satisfied to NOAA Pubic Affairs", an email sent from the National Weather Service on September 1 said.

The storm that has already walloped the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and North Carolina is now bringing hurricane-force winds to far-eastern Canada.

Well, I guess Trump took it upon himself or had one of his stooges get in touch with NOAA because, on Friday, the unsigned statement from NOAA appeared in the news feed. It then prompted the Birmingham, Ala. office of the National Weather Service (NWS) to send out a tweet making it clear that Alabama was not at all to be affected by Dorian, which then led to a full week of President Trump trying to convince everyone that Alabama was indeed in the path of Dorian.

"The Birmingham office was correct", said a NOAA staffer familiar with the situation but speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of being fired in reprisal.

President Trump references a map held by acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan while talking to reporters following a briefing from officials about Hurricane Dorian.

From 28 August to 31 August, a handful of locations in Alabama were mentioned in charts that listed percentage chance of tropical storm force winds or hurricane winds, maxing out at about an 11% chance that Montgomery would get tropical storm force winds.

"This rewriting history to satisfy an ego diminishes NOAA", Elbert "Joe" Friday, former Republican-appointed director of the National Weather Service, said on Facebook.

Former officials saw a political hand at work. And it turns out that behind the scenes, NOAA public affairs officials were doing all they could to ensure that nobody else would contradict the president.

Also on Sunday, September 1, NOAA spokesman Christopher Vaccaro verified that "The current forecast path of Dorian does not include Alabama".

On Friday, Trump accused the media of being "fixated" on the issue.

Retired Adm. David Titley, former NOAA operations chief during the Obama administration and a former meteorology professor at Pennsylvania State University said NOAA's leadership showed "moral cowardice" and officials should have resigned instead of issuing 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 Friday evening. He said the Birmingham office's tweet was "spot-on and an appropriate response to the President's misleading tweet that morning".

The Post quoted one NOAA meteorologist who said, "This is the first time I've felt pressure from above to not say what truly is the forecast".

Stelter acknowledged, "To know why the president is posting cat videos, genuinely celebrating his possess lack of expertise about Alabama and Hurricane Dorian, we desire to head abet to the beginning of the week when the president gave away a key line from his re-election playbook". The previous officers stated the way in which the NOAA supported Trump and assailed the Nationwide Climate Service's Birmingham workplace places the credibility of the company in danger.