NOAA/NASA Goddard Rapid Response Team
The National Weather Service issued a pair of unusually-worded updates on Monday, in apparent attempts at humor as hurricanes continue to ravage the Atlantic region.
In one of the updates, the Weather Service detailed in colorful language how Hurricane Maria demolished its radar in Cayey, Puerto Rico, last week:
"[The radar] was abused by Maria. As a result the radome divorced the tower and ran away with one dependent, the antenna. Reconciliation will hopefully be completed in 3 to 6 months," one of the updates from Monday afternoon read.
"Maria fled the scene heading northwest. She is considered armed and dangerous – do not attempt to apprehend."
The jokey update may belie the seriousness of the situation. The radar was one of Puerto Rico's critical tools for tracking storms, and as meteorologist John Morales told The Washington Post, its destruction "sends us back to the Third World."
In another update, the Weather Service poked fun at Tropical Storm Lee, whose maximum sustained winds decreased from 90 mph to 85 mph on Monday.
"Little Lee weakens a little. No threat to land," the Weather Service wrote in its update bulletin.
The moniker may be an homage to President Donald Trump, who has a history of assigning pejorative nicknames to political opponents and describing them as weak.
The lighthearted weather updates came a week after the service used unexpectedly poignant language in a warning to San Francisco-area beachgoers:
"Potential impacts: increased risk of rip currents … sneaker waves … and locally large shore break. Beachgoers may be knocked over … injured … or pulled out to sea into the cold restless ocean," the update read.