‘Politicians are incorrect’ accountable forecasters for inaccurate predictions of Ida’s threats: ex-meteorologist

Gary Szatkowski, who was a leading federal forecaster in New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy, called on New York politicians for claiming that forecasters were unable to determine the times and intensity of the Ida‘s threats.

“The politicians are wrong,” said Szatkowski in an interview with CNBC on Friday evening “The news with Shepard Smith.” “There have been a lot of warnings, there have been a lot of predictions, a lot of warnings about Ida when it came into the region with the potential for heavy rain.”

At least 13 people in the The New York City area was killed when the remains of Hurricane Ida hit the city with record rains and floods. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio repeated Friday that city officials had no idea what was going to happen in New York on Wednesday night.

“Here’s what we didn’t know we would have literally shocking and unprecedented rainfall,” de Blasio said during a media availability. “We had an hour-long period on Wednesday night that set the all-time record for a single hour in history, the recorded history of New York City, and no one expected that.”

Szatkowski pointed out accurate predictions by meteorologists and weather experts before the storm for dangerous, even fatal rainfall in the New York area.

He also noted that New York officials could simply “look west” to see what was happening and issue warnings to residents hours before the rain hit the city.

“There was flash floods, torrential rains, water rescues first in Pennsylvania, then in Philadelphia itself, and then in New Jersey, and then it came to New York City, and there are hours and hours you could watch this come to New York City and be prepared and know what will happen, “said Szatkowski, a former National Weather Service meteorologist.

Mayor de Blasio’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment