REPORT: Law Against ‘False Weather Reports’ Prohibits People From ‘Knowingly’ Publishing ‘Any Counterfeit Weather Forecast or Warning of Weather Conditions’

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President Donald Trump came under fire on Sunday morning for tweeting that Alabama was in the path of category 5 Hurricane Dorian—causing the National Weather Service (NWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the state of Alabama to reassure residents the hurricane was not headed in their direction.

Then that evening Trump drew criticism again after saying he had never heard of a category 5 hurricane. Four category 5 hurricanes have made landfall in the United States since his inauguration in January 2017.

But the President is not known for accepting his errors with grace, or even admitting to them. And on Wednesday during a press briefing in the Oval Office on Hurricane Dorian, the Trump administration demonstrated how far they would got to be right.

The President shared an altered and outdated map of Hurricane Dorian’s projected path with an obvious addition done in what appeared to be a black permanent marker to add Alabama to Dorian’s trajectory. While many are getting a laugh out of the absurdity of the situation, not everyone is laughing.

At Fox News, Senior Meteorologist and Fox & Friends contributor Janice Dean cited what was wrong with the artwork added to an official weather briefing map.

Dean tweeted:

“The sharpie-bubble was drawn by someone else. This map is inaccurate, misleading and fake.”


Dean then added:

“PS: It is a violation of federal law to falsify a National Weather Service forecast and pass it off as official.”

18 U.S. Code § 2074

So what is the big deal?

When millions of people are given short notice that they are in the path of a deadly storm, a public panic can ensue which can lead to injuries and deaths. For that reason, NOAA, NWS and Alabama officials were quick to correct Trump on Sunday.

The cited statute dates back to 1948.

People were appalled over the apparent emphasis of ego over public safety.

Although not everyone was a fan of honesty from Fox News.

While others needed an explanation for why it was a “big deal.”

Many Fox News followers and Trump supporters tried to find ways to prove President Trump was right while Dean, a member of the American Meteorological Society was wrong.

On Thursday Dorian had dropped from a category 5 to a category 3. It is still not on a collision course with Alabama.

To learn more about nature’s wrath, National Geographic: Nature’s Fury is available here.

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