National Weather Service chief: Forecasters did the right thing in contradicting Trump's Dorian claim

National Weather Service (NWS) Director Louis Uccellini defended the forecasters who tweeted out correct information about Hurricane Dorian after President Trump wrongly said the storm was predicted to hit Alabama. 

“They did that with one thing in mind: public safety,” Uccellini said Monday at a National Weather Association meeting, according to The Associated Press.

Uccellini said the Birmingham forecasters didn't initially know Trump had been the source of the misinformation last week. He said forecasters had been bombarded with social media contacts and phone calls following the president's tweet, which appeared to be based on outdated information.


“Only later, when the retweets and politically based comments started coming to their office, did they learn the sources of this information,” he said.

The assembled forecasters reportedly gave a standing ovation after Uccellini asked members of the Birmingham team to stand and be recognized.

Association President Paul Schlatter also said any forecast office “would have done the exact same thing,” AP reports. 

More than a week later, Trump has yet to retract his comment or admit an error, instead doubling down on his false remarks as the storm neared other U.S. states. 

Last week during an Oval Office briefing on the storm, Trump displayed what appeared to be a map doctored with marker that adjusted the storm’s predicted path to hit Alabama. He said he knew nothing about the map being changed and was adamant about reports existing predicting Alabama would be hit. 

On Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association released an unsigned statement affirming Trump's claims. The statement, which was widely condemned by scientists, is now under investigation.