Politicizing weather forecasts could be life threatening
SARASOTA- NOAA’s Chief Scientist says they will be investigating why the agency backed Trump’s Dorian Claims, according to the Washington Post Chief Scientist Craig McLean says it is a potential violation of scientific integrity.
An anonymous statement from NOAA backing President Trump’s claims Alabama could see effects from Hurricane Dorian is drawing harsh criticism from the forecasting community.
“NOAA management,” Sobien said. “Has introduced politics into the science of meteorology and Hurricane Forecasting, and politics has no place.”
President of the National Weather Service Employee’s Organization Dan Sobien says the Birmingham Office did exactly what they were supposed to, telling the people of Alabama they were out of danger.
“You really don’t want to mess around with that,” Sobien said. “You don’t want people questioning whether or not they can trust the hurricane forecast.”
Sobien says conflicting reports could put those in the actual path of the storm in danger.
“When a hurricane warning is issued for the Southwest of Florida for instance,” Sobien said. “The hurricane center, the local office, the TV media, the emergency managers, even the private companies, everyone gets on the same page, and they are all saying the same message.”
And having a unified message is crucial to public safety.
“A major component of that is if public ever loses confidence in the National Weather Service,” Sobien said. “People could potentially die from something like that.”
Monday in Alabama the head of the National Weather Service got a Standing Ovation while defending the hurricane forecasters.