In 2012, I retired from the National Weather Service after completing 42 years of service as a research meteorologist, chief scientist and senior executive. I served under presidents from Richard M. Nixon to Barack Obama. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s public rebuke of the Birmingham weather forecast office for informing Alabama residents they were not in harm’s way during Hurricane Dorian is unprecedented. I am dismayed by the current administration’s efforts to undermine confidence in the nation’s hurricane warning system and impair the National Weather Service’s mission to save lives and protect property.
I never experienced administrative coercion during my long and satisfying career within the federal government. If this type of political interference is allowed to go unabated, operational weather forecasters will not be able to carry out their critical duties in the most effective manner. From my perspective, meteorologists from the public and private sectors cooperated in a stellar fashion to promote public safety throughout the complex evolution of Hurricane Dorian.
Gary M. Carter, Boca Raton, Fla.