Report: Tweets caused chaos to NOAA employees
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Feb 03, 2020
Employees at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration were jarred—and their work disrupted—by statements and tweets about the weather issued by the White House last September.
The wave of unusual, and largely inaccurate, Pennsylvania Avenue-sourced weather news came just as disastrously powerful Hurricane Dorian approached the coast of the Southern U.S.—according to reports based on Freedom of Information Act-released documents reported on in the Washington Post and other news outlets.
NOAA’s National Weather Service unit is tasked with tracking, analyzing and providing weather forecasts and warnings. The agency’s rank-and-file is not accustomed to being second-guessed—or having its predictions altered, as occurred in this case. Indeed, the president made public statements and tweets bearing directly on the weather emergency—even publicly presenting an inaccurate map of the storm’s expected course, one that flew in the face of the actual winds and computer-modeled course of the storm. Soon afterward, an FAA official in the Birmingham, Ala. field office posted a counter-tweet, correcting the WH. Subsequently, NOAA’s top management appeared to jump into the fray, effectively criticizing the field office—and, to the chagrin of many in the agency, backing up the president’s actions despite their inaccuracy.