Fake Hurricane Irma forecast creating scare in Texas


HARLINGEN, Texas - A south Texas man created a fake forecast of Hurricane Irma that has created quite a scare in Texas.

Joe Maley, who lives in Harlingen, posted the fake forecast on his Facebook page. The post, which went viral before it was made private, shows Hurricane Irma hitting the Texas coast on Tuesday as a Category 2 storm.

He writes, "Shes predicted to come through mexico and hit us and everything inbetween up to Houston."

Maley included a logo for the National Weather Service and called it the "Long-Range Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook."

But no such thing exists.

The actual forecast from the National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will be east of the Virgin Islands on Tuesday.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, Irma was a Category 2 storm located 1,578 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

What that means is its way too early to predict whether the storm will make landfall in Texas. If it does, it definitely will not be Tuesday.

A word of warning for people like Maley who create these fake forecasts. Putting the logo for the National Weather Service or any other government branch on it is illegal. You can be fined and/or sentenced to 90 days in prison.

18 US Code 2074 Whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather conditions falsely representing such forecast or warning to have been issued or published by the Weather Bureau, United States Signal Service, or other branch of the Government service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ninety days, or both.

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