NOAA disavows National Weather Service tweet that contradicted Trump

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a statement Friday evening disavowing a days-old tweet from the National Weather Service that contradicted President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE over the reach of Hurricane Dorian.

The NOAA statement, which was unsigned and posted to the agency's website on Friday, said that 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."

"From Wednesday, August 28, through Monday, September 2, the information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama," the NOAA statement reads.

ADVERTISEMENT

The tweet from the National Weather Service in Birmingham had said that Alabama would "NOT" be affected by the hurricane, and came after Trump mentioned the state along with several others that he said would be hit by the storm.

Trump in recent days has doubled down on his claim that early projections showed the storm heading toward Alabama, and has lashed out at pushback in the media and from meteorologists who noted that weather projections showed the storm tracking farther east.

"The Fake News Media was fixated on the fact that I properly said, at the beginnings of Hurricane Dorian, that in addition to Florida & other states, Alabama may also be grazed or hit," he tweeted earlier Friday.

The NOAA statement backing up Trump is one of the latest moves the administration has taken this week to defend the president, even as the storm has lashed the Carolinas with heavy rain and intense wind after devastating the Bahamas earlier this week.

On Thursday, the White House released a statement from one of Trump's top advisers on Dorian that said the president was briefed Sunday morning on information indicating the storm could possibly strike Alabama.

Rear Adm. Peter Brown, a Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser, said he briefed Trump multiple times about Dorian and models showing the potential path of the storm.

"These products showed possible storm impacts well outside the official forecast cone,” Brown said in the statement released on White House letterhead.

"The president’s comments were based on that morning’s Hurricane Dorian briefing, which included the possibility of tropical storm force winds in southeastern Alabama," he added.

The controversy reached a fever pitch on Wednesday when Trump displayed a map in the Oval Office that apparently was altered with black marker to show the storm's projected path extending into southeastern Alabama.

Trump has denied knowing about the apparently altered map that he showcased, though The Washington Post reported that the president had marked it up.

Democrats have jumped at the opportunity to criticize the president, while several meteorologists also countered his initial statement that the hurricane would reach Alabama.

James Spann, a meteorologist based in Alabama, wrote Friday evening that the days-old tweet from the National Weather Service in Birmingham was "spot on and accurate."

"How in the world has it come to this?" he wrote.

Updated: 6:30 p.m.