Oh boy: NOAA staff were warned in Sept. 1 directive against contradicting Trump washingtonpost.com/politics/noaa-…
Nearly a week before the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publicly backed President Trump over its own scientists, a top NOAA official warned its staff against contradicting the president.
In an agencywide 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,” NOAA staff were 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.”

They were also told not to “provide any opinion,” according to a copy of the email obtained by The Washington Post.
A NOAA meteorologist said the note, understood internally as referring to Trump, came after the National Weather Service office in Birmingham contradicted Trump by tweeting Alabama would “NOT see any impacts from the hurricane.”
The NOAA sent a similar message warning scientists and meteorologists not to speak out on Sept. 4, after Trump showed a hurricane map from Aug. 29 modified with a hand-drawn, half-circle in black Sharpie around Alabama.
“This is the first time I’ve felt pressure from above to not say what truly is the forecast,” the meteorologist said.
Late Friday afternoon, NOAA officials further angered scientists within & beyond the agency by releasing a statement, attributed to an unnamed agency spokesperson, supporting Trump’s claims on Alabama and chastising the agency’s Birmingham meteorologists for speaking in absolutes
That statement set off a firestorm among scientists, who attacked NOAA officials for bending to Trump’s will.
“If the president had been briefed by someone who understands the forecast, he never would’ve mentioned Alabama,” an NOAA official said.

NOAA’s Friday statement infuriated scientists, who worry the Trump administration is corroding faith in research and data.
In 2018, a survey of scientists at 16 federal agencies found a culture of fear and self-censorship in an administration that has sidelined scientific evidence, especially as it related to climate change, in favor of political expediency.
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