Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) attributed Monday's historic flooding in Washington, D.C., to climate change, resulting in stern rebuke, and a science lesson, from meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue.
What did Ocasio-Cortez say?
Historic flash flooding struck the nation's capital Monday morning when nearly 3-5 inches of rain fell over the capital area in less than two hours. The flooding stranded motorists, flooded the Metro, and even forced the closure of the National Archives Museum, WRC-TV reported.
In response, Ocasio-Cortez blamed climate change.
"Unprecedented flooding is quickly becoming a new normal," the freshman Democrat claimed. "Despite that, Republicans are tripling down on fossil fuels w/no plan to transition off them, or make the critical infra investments we need to prep for the climate crisis. Each day of inaction puts more of us in danger."
Climate change intensifies flooding, wildfires, & extreme weather. It’s more than 1 day or 1 storm; it’s all of th… https://t.co/QzVI0o1i0x— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1562608992.0
For the record: D.C. is a low-lying city surrounded by major waterways; flash flooding is completely normal. Also, while Anchorage hit 90 degrees for the first time ever last week (since records have been kept, which has only happened for about 150 years), Alaska is no stranger to temperatures between 90-100 degrees.
How did Maue respond?
He rebuked Ocasio-Cortez for never missing "an opportunity to turn a weather event she experiences into a political statement and blame Republicans."
He added, "She's right that cities need to invest in infrastructure but a slow-moving t-storm isn't 'climate.'"
Maue, whose work focuses mostly on weather and climate research, went on to give Ocasio-Cortez a science lesson.
Indeed, the Washington Post's "Capital Weather Gang" explained how Monday's historic weather was merely the result of a classic "flash flood-generating setup."
"The torrential downpours, and ensuing flooding, stem from a classic flash flood-generating setup — a pattern that was very frequent last summer as well. Namely, very high air mass humidity … combined with a stalled front … unstable air … and a disturbance along that front," the paper reported.
Monday was not the first time Maue has corrected Ocasio-Cortez.
In May, the Democrat lawmaker blamed a severe thunderstorm on climate change, forcing Maue to explain the relationship between climate and weather with an analogy: "Weather is what outfit you wear heading out the door. ... Climate is your closet wardrobe."