Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., took to social media on Thursday during a tornado warning in Washington, D.C., and swiftly tried to connect it to climate change -- prompting one meteorologist to call her out for not knowing "the difference between weather and climate."
The freshman congresswoman began by sharing a video on Instagram briefly showing the conditions outside, as heavy rains drenched the region and prompted a brief, and rare, tornado warning inside the Beltway.
“There's people stuck outside. We need to get them out,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This is crazy."
The Green New Deal advocate then shared a story published by PBS in March questioning if climate change makes tornadoes worse and put emphasis on a quote from the piece that read, "Rather than lie squarely in the Great Plains, America’s tornadoes appear to be sliding into the Midwest and Southeast."
The tornado warning followed a devastating tornado in Missouri's capital of Jefferson City the night before.
"Tornadoes are challenging to link to climate change links due to their nature (geographically, limited, acute patterns, how they form, etc.)," Ocasio-Cortez told her followers as she reviewed the article. "But we DO know that tornadoes HAVE been changing. They are no longer being limited to the Great Plains, and are shifting to other regions of the country."
“The climate crisis is real y’all … guess we’re at casual tornadoes in growing regions of the country,” she later wrote on Instagram.
Meteorologist Ryan Maue, though, argued that she was confusing climate change with "weather" in the capital region.
"The Congresswoman @AOC does not know the difference between weather and climate," wrote Maue. "Let's try an easy analogy: Weather is what outfit you wear heading out the door. Climate is your closet wardrobe."