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.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 4, 2019
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.
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.”
In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2019
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.
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) September 1, 2019
James Spann, a well-known meteorologist in Alabama, also tweeted to refute what Trump was saying.
I have zero interest in politics. Dorian will not affect Alabama in any way. That is not a political statement.— James Spann (@spann) September 1, 2019
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.
Such a phony hurricane report by lightweight reporter @jonkarl of @ABCWorldNews. I suggested yesterday at FEMA that, along with Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, even Alabama could possibly come into play, which WAS true. They made a big deal about this…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 2, 2019
....when in fact, under certain original scenarios, it was in fact correct that Alabama could have received some “hurt.” Always good to be prepared! But the Fake News is only interested in demeaning and belittling. Didn’t play my whole sentence or statement. Bad people!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 2, 2019
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.
It is a violation of federal law to falsify a National Weather Service forecast and pass it off as official, as President Trump did here.— Dennis Mersereau (@wxdam) September 4, 2019
18 U.S. Code § 2074: https://t.co/jvROnpSJLI pic.twitter.com/TnIuvZRJoS
“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.
He said something wrong. He got called out. He doubled-down so he didn't have to admit he made a mistake, and kept doubling-down and now we're here.— Dennis Mersereau (@wxdam) September 4, 2019
Trump got caught literally peddling fake news by drawing on a map with sharpie. This is stupid, and it's beneath the presidency.
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.