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AccuWeather’s Hurricane Beryl Forecast Flagged as Misinformation on X, Sparking Concerns Among Meteorologists

The forecast from AccuWeather for Hurricane Beryl was flagged as misinformation on X after the storm made landfall on Carriacou Island as a Category 4 hurricane. Meteorologists are concerned that this decision could lead to loss of lives.


Earlier this week, AccuWeather shared a forecast for an Eastern Caribbean system that would develop into Hurricane Beryl. The post which contained a map showing the projected path of the hurricane had a community note attached to it on X saying: “Official hurricane forecasts only come from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The system being discussed has yet to form, meaning this ‘forecast’ has very little data to back it up and has a low chance of verifying.”


Smith noted his worry over how the notification may have confused his readers as they waited for the storm. Smith said “The note was the false information,” Smith said. “It creates confusion in a time where hours matter and minutes matter for people to be able to make preparations.”


AccuWeather uses data from NOAA, NASA, the World Meteorological Organization, and NHC among other sources through its team of 100 meteorologists. According to John Porter, Senior Vice-President and Chief Meteorologist at AccuWeather, their prediction was almost identical to that of the National Hurricane Center’s but it had been issued about 30 hours before. Early warnings are critical especially in the early stages of hurricane season when government information might not be available.


It took Tropical Depression Beryl just two days to become a major hurricane making it the first Category 4 storm ever recorded this early in a season. It is now near Cat 5 status with winds already at 150 mph. Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell described “widespread destruction and devastation in Carriacou and Petite Martinique,” noting that “in half an hour, Carriacou was flattened.”


To have more time to recognize the threat and prepare for hurricanes, there must be advance notice given. According to Porter, “There’s often days of advanced notice, and the way people react, it does take people a little bit of time to recognize that threat,” Porter said. “That’s why we wanted to start that process as early as possible with the forecast we provided.”

AccuWeather has reached out to X concerning the community note but has not received any response. The company is now asking social media platforms to reconsider their approach to moderating posts from experts like AccuWeather. Smith added “It brings up very important questions about how life-saving information will now be flagged by platforms…their actions can’t get in the way of a trusted brand, the most well-known weather brand around the world, providing life-saving information to people,” Smith said.


According to National Weather Service forecasts, Hurricane Beryl may continue its westward path and maintain its strength as it heads toward Jamaica possibly by Wednesday.

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