The acting chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who backed the agency for siding with President Trump over its own scientists when the president claimed Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian is being nominated for a position at the Department of Commerce, the White House said Wednesday.
Trump nominated the acting NOAA chief, Neil Jacobs, to be the under secretary for oceans and atmosphere at the Department of Commerce.
In September, an NOAA statement siding with Trump’s claim that Alabama was in the path of Dorian was widely rebuked, with former NOAA Chief Operating Officer David Titley calling it “perhaps the darkest day ever” for the agency’s leadership and “moral cowardice.”
Trump displayed a map he said reflected Dorian’s original path, but it appeared to be altered with a marker to show the trajectory continuing toward Alabama. Trump’s claim contradicted the National Hurricane Center’s projection that did not include Alabama in the storm’s projected path.
Jacobs reportedly praised his staff for siding with Trump amid the controversy.
In an email with the subject line “Keeping NOAA’s Mission in Focus,” he highlighted the efforts of the National Weather Service's Birmingham office and said forecasters “did their utmost” to predict accurate forecasts, The Washington Post reported at the time.