During a live broadcast on Twitter on Wednesday, President Donald Trump held up an outdated Hurricane Dorian forecast graphic from the National Hurricane Center. A single black line on the image showed the storm threatening Alabama.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump warned on Twitter that Hurricane Dorian could hit Alabama. The National Weather Service, however, said unambiguously that Alabama was not in the storm’s path.
On Wednesday, during a 50-second live Twitter update about the hurricane, Trump held up an outdated National Hurricane Center forecast of Dorian’s path. The graphic, which was published last Thursday, had been altered: A semicircle of black ink extended the farthest reaches of Hurricane Dorian’s impact cone beyond Florida and into Alabama.
“Our original chart was that it was going to be hitting Florida directly,” Trump said, adding, “It was going to be hitting directly, and that would’ve affected a lot of other states.”
Trump on: The real NHC forecast did not involve Alabama
On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”
The NWS’s office in Birmingham responded 20 minutes later: “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 graphic below is the original, unaltered version of the forecast that Trump referred to in his Twitter video on Wednesday.
In it, the farthest reaches of the hurricane’s cone — the NHC graphics depict the potential path of the storm for up to five days — did not extend into Alabama.
Despite the NWS’s correction, Trump continued to claim on Sunday that Alabama could get hit. He said it once to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House and later at a meeting with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
He tweeted on Monday that “under certain original scenarios, it was in fact correct that Alabama could have received some ‘hurt.’”