A top official at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told colleagues in an email Sunday that he is investigating the agency’s decision to back President Trump’s inaccurate map of Hurricane Dorian’s path, The Washington Post reports. The director of the National Weather Service, also broke with leadership on Monday. Director Louis Uccellini got a standing ovation when he told a crowd of meteorologists at a conference in Huntsville, Alabama, that he commends the forecasters who corrected false statements made by President Trump.
Craig McLean, NOAA’s acting chief scientist, wrote that he is “pursuing the potential violations of our NOAA Administrative Order on Scientific Integrity” after the agency released a statement that contradicted a National Weather Service forecaster. The NWS forecaster was correcting falsities that the president asserted about Dorian’s expected path. “My understanding is that this intervention to contradict the forecaster was not based on science but on external factors including reputation and appearance, or simply put, political,” McClean wrote. “... I have a responsibility to pursue these truths.” Shortly after Trump incorrectly stated that Dorian might hit Alabama, NOAA staff was told not to contradict the president or “provide any opinion” on the situation. The agency’s backing of Trump and its direction not to speak out on the inaccuracy has angered many employees.