Weather Maps Don't Lie


This summer, Donald Trump said he wanted to buy an island. No, not Puerto Rico–Greenland! No doubt, he was thinking ahead. Take advantage of global warming—this would be the opportunity of a lifetime–why not build a golf course once all that ice melted. And a luxury hotel!

Meanwhile, in Iceland people held a funeral for a glacier lost to the warming climate.

This summer, Anchorage, Alaska recorded 90 degrees for the first time in recorded history.

Fires are burning  in the Amazon rain forest. This is not just slash-and-burn, greed and business interests–this is killing animals and plants, and the people who live there. This is ecocide.  It is a real and serious crisis.

And now, as summer turns to fall, the Atlantic hurricane season is becoming more active.  Dorian was a Category 3 hurricane when it hit the Bahamas, and intensified to a Category 5.  The storm could be seen from space, with lightning flashes and a well-defined eye.

The track of the storm was projected along the coast of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

President Trump, though not a meteorologist, did tweet about the hurricane–it’s very wet and very windy. He also said that Alabama would be affected.  He is still insisting that he was right.  To prove his point he used a weather map, with the storm track altered by a Sharpie to include Alabama.

The point is to keep lying and denying until the next lie comes up. But weather maps don’t lie, and it is a crime to alter an official map for official purposes. It’s illegal, and it would be laughable if it weren’t so disturbing.

Here is another of his  weather lies–

President Obama was golfing during Hurricane Katrina–Wrong!  George Bush was President during Hurricane Katrina.

But President Trump was golfing in the midst of a climate crisis,  after yet another mass shooting, and in the middle of another hurricane.

UPDATE–NOAA releases an unattributed statement regarding NWS Birmingham tweet from Sunday saying Dorian was not going to impact Alabama–


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  • My substantive comment was already on The Quark, but I see from a recent Tribune article that it got weirder. A combination of psychosis and fascism.

    Having seen both WeatherNation and Fox News Channel giving the same forecast while Dorian was lambasting Abaco that it was going to go up the east coast of Florida, I thought that the choices were limited.

    However some weather maps do lie, like all stations using the same models, but the Euro model indicates 4 times of the rain of the others (I similarly wonder about a couple of strands of spaghetti going way off), Demitrius Ivory one time saying his futurecast model didn't initialize properly, because it showed rain in the north suburbs when it was at the moment raining in the south suburbs, or the Waukegan tornado, in retrospect, being found as a green dot on an otherwise blank screen. But it appears to have been an itty bitty tornado in diameter (although not in wind speed).

  • In reply to jack:

    Thank you for reading, Jack and your always thoughtful comments.
    Yes, it did get weirder! The unattributed statement from NOAA "correcting" NWS Birmingham statement on Dorian to assuage Donald Trump's ego is indeed a scary combination of psychosis and fascism. That no one put their name to it is chilling.

    In the meantime, people are suffering from the storm in the Bahamas and in North Carolina. There are power outages in Nova Scotia. That's the reality.

    Forecasts are not exact, all they can do is offer probabilities. I think meteorologists try to be as accurate as possible. Demetrius Ivory didn't say the map was right and the rain was wrong.

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