Speed Reads

Under the bus

Meteorologists appear baffled after NOAA backs Trump's hurricane claims

The drama surrounding whether Hurricane Dorian ever threatened Alabama continues.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday backed President Trump's claim earlier this week that Hurricane Dorian might be headed toward Alabama. In a statement the NOAA criticized the Birmingham, Alabama, National Weather Service, which it oversees, for denying in a tweet that Alabama faced any danger from the storm.

"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 NOAA statement said. Additionally, the statement said information provided to Trump and the public between Aug. 28 and Sept. 2 did leave open the possibility that Dorian's winds could affect Alabama.

Many meteorologists were reportedly confused by the NOAA's statement and stand by the NWS's initial tweet.

"Some administrator, or someone at the top of NOAA, threw the National Weather Service under the bus," Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, told NPR. "The part that really smells fishy is that this is five days after that tweet by Trump. If the National Weather Service did issue a misleading or incorrect tweet, that would need to be amended or fixed in an hour or two." Read more at NPR and Washington Post.