15 June 2020

“Sharpie-Gate” Report says Two Top NOAA Officials Violated Scientific Integrity Guidelines

Posted by Dan Satterfield

When NOAA leadership reprimanded the NWS office in Birmingham over a social media post, there was outrage among both government and private sector meteorologists. The reason, of course, it that the tweet was accurate even though it conflicted with a statement by the President. The NWS office had no knowledge of that statement, but without scientific doubt, the NWS office was correct.

A NOAA report today found that this was indeed the case and that the reprimand by two NOAA officials violated scientific integrity guidelines. Virtually every broadcast meteorologist in the country pointed out to their viewers that the NWS Birmingham statement was indeed correct, but many if not most meteorologists feel they did severe damage to NOAA credibility. It definitely did severe damage to the credibility of the two NOAA political appointees who were involved. The question unanswered is whether they were ordered from above to disavow the NWS Birmingham statement.

The main part of the report is below and there is an excellent report on this in the Washington Post this evening as well.