Trump displays altered weather map showing Dorian could have hit Alabama
During an Oval Office briefing on Dorian, Trump displayed a map of the National Hurricane Center from last Thursday – which he said showed an early projection of the storm.
âThis is the original path we thought – and everyone thought it was about a 95% chance,â he said. “And it turned out that it wasn’t that path. It turned out to be a path up the coast.”
Trump was criticized on Sunday for repeatedly saying Alabama was on the way. Sunday morning he tweeted, “In addition to Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama will most likely be hit (much) harder than expected.” Shortly thereafter, the National Meteorological Service tweeted This was not the case. At about the same time, Trump repeated that claim to White House reporters, saying, “Alabama is going to have a share of it, looks like.”
Then, the same day at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Trump again asserted that Alabama could be affected.
At no time on Sunday did government projections show the storm had impacted Alabama – or even made landfall in Florida.
Hours after Dorian’s briefing on Wednesday, at another event in the afternoon, Trump later denied knowing how or why the map was changed when asked if he could explain how the change was made. had been performed.
âNo, I just know, yeah. I know Alabama was in the original forecast,â he said. âThey thought he would get it, as a piece it was supposed to go – actually, we’ve got a better map of what’s going to be presented, where we’ve had a lot of lines going straight – a lot of models, each line be a pattern. And they went straight through. And in any case, Alabama was hit. So unlikely, in some cases pretty hard. Georgia and Alabama, it was a different road. In fact, they gave that a 95% chance, “he said.
“This card you showed us today almost looked like it had a Sharpie written on it,” a reporter said at a second White House event on Wednesday.
Trump interrupted the reporter and said, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.” He also said the map was three or four days earlier, when in fact it had been released six days earlier.
Hogan Gidley, Deputy White House Press Secretary tweeted On Wednesday night, the line was actually from a black Sharpie, and he slammed the media for focusing on it.
Late wednesday, trump tweeted an additional card display raw data – a “set” of different computer models and variations of those models, which meteorologists use to make a forecast.
“This was the hurricane’s original intended path when it first started,” the president wrote. “As you can see, almost every model predicted it would go through Florida and hit Georgia and Alabama as well.”
But the map he shared didn’t actually show any sort of actual projected track or official forecast – just the raw data – and government meteorologists never drew the conclusion that the storm would hit Alabama.
It is against federal law to knowingly issue or publish forged weather forecasts that falsely represent an official forecast issued by government entities such as the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center.
Spokesmen for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center, asked if the map was tampered with at the White House. The White House did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
At one point last Friday, a forecast map showed a cone brushing past the Alabama-Florida border, but it didn’t go that far.
Dan Peck, Mel Griffin and Matthew Vann of ABC News contributed to this report.