Trump Alters Forecast Map With A Sharpie To Support His False Dorian Claims

by Christina Marfice
The Washington Post/Getty

No, Hurricane Dorian will not be hitting Alabama, and no one is buying Trump’s clearly altered map

For some reason, Donald Trump is apparently extremely hell-bent on convincing people that Hurricane Dorian is going to hit Alabama, a claim that is categorically false, and that everyone in the world will see is false in a few days when, um, the hurricane doesn’t hit Alabama.

On Wednesday, Trump met with reporters in the Oval Office where he displayed a forecast map showing states that will be affected by Dorian. Alabama clearly isn’t one of them, except that the map had been altered with a shakily drawn black line to include a small, southern part of the state.

It looks like Sharpie. Like someone just drew on the map with a Sharpie to include Alabama so Trump looked less wrong about this, or something? It honestly baffles the mind. I mean, look at it.

US President Donald Trump and Acting US Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan update the media on Hurricane Dorian preparedness as they show a map, from August 29, 2019, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, September 4, 2019. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) / ALTERNATIVE CROP (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Like, what? It’s so absurd this doesn’t even feel real. Is this really something that happened? Did the actual president (or one of his aides) just uncap a Sharpie and color on a weather map to back up his dopey claim?

This whole saga began last weekend, when Trump tweeted about Dorian and its potential impact in the U.S., including Alabama in his list of states “likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”

About 20 minutes after Trump tweeted that, the National Weather Service in Birmingham tweeted to correct him, because Alabama is far outside of any path Dorian has ever been projected to take.

James Spann, a well-known meteorologist in Alabama, also tweeted to refute what Trump was saying.

ABC World News‘ Jonathan Karl then called into question the accuracy of Trump’s tweet, because, as we all know, weather experts have been meticulously tracking Hurricane Dorian and it’s pretty easy to verify that no one with any actual expertise ever said it would hit Alabama. That prompted Trump to send a few tweets attacking Karl, as he is wont to do to anyone who questions his claims, even if they are easily and verifiably false, like this one.

Which leads us to the forecast map that someone altered with a Sharpie. We can’t say who, but, um, only one person actually thinks Hurricane Dorian is going to hit Alabama, so that might be a hint.

Anyway, another fun twist to this story was pointed out by weather journalist Dennis Mersereau, who tweeted that trying to pass off a doctored weather report as real is actually against federal law.

“Whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather conditions falsely representing such forecast or warning to have been issued or published by the Weather Bureau, United States Signal Service, or other branch of the Government service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ninety days, or both,” the law reads.

Mersereau also said this, which is about the only sane thing anyone has contributed to this discussion so far.

So. Anyway. That happened. We hope everyone in Hurricane Dorian’s actual path is staying safe, and that the people of Dothan, Alabama, a southern town squarely in Trump’s imaginary hurricane path, are enjoying their weather.