NOAA staffers received agency-wide directive warning against contradicting Trump on Hurricane Dorian: report

NOAA staffers received agency-wide directive warning against contradicting Trump on Hurricane Dorian: report
Image via Screengrab.

According to a report from the Washington Post, staffers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were warned to not issue any corrections on statements President Donald Trump made about Hurricane Dorian.


With one official now backing the president’s remarks about the possibility of Alabama being hit by the tropical hurricane — that came long after it changed course and moved up the eastern seaboard — the Post notes the NOAA wanted staffers and scientists to remain silent.

“In an agency-wide directive sent Sept. 1 to National Weather Service personnel, hours after Trump asserted, with no evidence, that Alabama ‘would most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated,’ staff was told to ‘only stick with official National Hurricane Center forecasts if questions arise from some national level social media posts which hit the news this afternoon,'” the Post reports.

According to a copy of the internal email obtained by the Post, staffers were instructed to not “provide any opinion.”

Speaking with the Post, one meteorologist who asked to not be named said the email was widely believed “internally to be referring to Trump and came after the National Weather Service office in Birmingham contradicted the president in a statement.

“This is the first time I’ve felt pressure from above to not say what truly is the forecast,” the meteorologist explained. “It’s hard for me to wrap my head around. One of the things we train on is to dispel inaccurate rumors and ultimately that is what was occurring — ultimately what the Alabama office did is provide a forecast with their tweet, that is what they get paid to do.”

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.