The Trump administration on Sunday tweeted a photo of the North Portico of the White House during a snow shower to mark the first snowfall of the year.
Some people probably looked out of their windows in disbelief because the temperature was way too hot for snow to form that day.
Weather reports from Washington, DC say the temperature on 12 January was around 53°F (11°C) at the time the White House tweeted out the photo.
On Sunday, the temperature hit the daytime high of 69°F (20°C), later falling to mid-40s – still some 10 degrees above the freezing temperature.
First snow of the year! ❄️ pic.twitter.com/kgSLQX6QxK— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 13, 2020
A blizzard of incredulous tweets hit Twitter immediately.
Some people have accused the administration of lying or suggested that the picture had been doctored for some reason.
Really???? Do you people have to lie about everything??? pic.twitter.com/VKpLR7Dztf— Lisa Swartz 👱🏻♀️🍷 #GirlsGoneWine (@ls1228) January 13, 2020
Why. Why would you lie about THIS.— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) January 13, 2020
wide angle view of the same shot pic.twitter.com/DGbJDpqwOO— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) January 13, 2020
“What you're actually seeing is the ashes of the Constitution,” one user quipped.
Vox reporter Aaron Rupar went into full-conspiracy-theory mode, suggesting that the tweets were “some sort of secret communication.”
“Racking my brain to make any sort of sense of this,” he wrote. “It nearly hit 70 degrees in DC today.”
Cryptography techniques aside, the answer is simple: it appears that the White House shared a photo from an image hosting service dated 7 January – the day the first snow arrived in Washington.
The ‘first snow’ tweet is not the first time the White House had made a confusing statement about the weather. In September, Trump brandished a chart in the Oval Office showing the projected path of Hurricane Dorian. The map featured what looked like a hand-written extension that included the coast of Alabama, despite weather forecasts saying that the storm wouldn’t hit the state.
An anonymous White House staffer told The Washington Post that it was Trump who doctored the map with a black Sharpie, triggering another “Fake News” rant from the president.