The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration backed up President Trump's ongoing assertions that Alabama appeared initially to be in the path of Hurricane Dorian.
"From Wednesday, August 28, through Monday, September 2, the information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama," a NOAA spokesman said in a statement Friday evening. "This is clearly demonstrated in Hurricane Advisories #15 through #41, which can be viewed at the following link."
NOAA's statement also directly refuted a tweet from the Birmingham National Weather Service that had contradicted Mr. Trump. "The Birmingham National Weather Service's Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time," the statement read.
The statement was a response to comments on Sunday, September 1. Mr. Trump had tweeted that Alabama would be impacted by Hurricane Dorian. "In addition to Florida — South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated," he wrote Sunday morning.
The Birmingham National Weather Service disputed that just minutes later in a tweet: "Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east."
The National Weather Service Employees Organization pushed back against NOAA, with the organization's president calling the NOAA statement "utterly disgusting and disingenuous."
The hurricane advisories in the NOAA link show that at 8 a.m. Sunday — a couple of hours before Mr. Trump's tweet — there was a 5% to 10% chance that tropical-storm-force winds of more than or equal to 39 miles per hour could affect the Southeast corner of Alabama. The map showed that coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas had a higher likelihood of sustaining tropical storm-force winds, closer to 50% to 70%.
The president has been railing against the media for its coverage questioning the veracity of his claim.
"The Fake News Media was fixated on the fact that I properly said, at the beginnings of Hurricane Dorian, that in addition to Florida & other states, Alabama may also be grazed or hit. They went Crazy, hoping against hope that I made a mistake (which I didn't). Check out maps..." the president tweeted Friday morning.
The Trump campaign decided to exploit the situation by selling sets of black markers. They have "the special ability to drive CNN and the rest of the fake news crazy!" said campaign manager Brad Parscale.