TODAY weather forecaster Al Roker apologized Friday for a “low blow” comment he made about Bill de Blasio on Thursday, but stood by all of his other criticism toward the New York City mayor over the way he handled school closures during this week’s major winter storm.
On Thursday, Roker took de Blasio to task in a series of tweets for his decisions to first keep schools open amid the storm, and then close them later in the day.
On Friday, Roker said he understands many parents can’t afford to stay home from work if their kids' school day is canceled, but that ultimately, his concerns were based on protecting school children.
“It’s about safety, safety first for children,” he said on TODAY.
But he also issued an apology, noting the back-and-forth between him and the mayor got a little testy.
“I do have one tweet that I do regret in the heat — I'm very passionate about the weather," he explained. "I made a prediction that there would be only one term of his administration. I apologize for that. That was a little below the line.”
Roker said he stood by everything else he'd said, including the fact that the National Weather Service did forecast the winter storm correctly for the city.
A member of de Blasio's team later showed the entire tiff was being taken in stride after the mayor nixed a news conference that had been scheduled Friday.
Roker originally started his Twitter spat on Thursday as a snowstorm progressed during the day.
At a news conference Thursday, de Blasio responded to Roker's criticism by saying that though he respected the TODAY meteorologist, "it’s a different thing to run a city than to give the weather on TV."
“I respect all the meteorologists out there," de Blasio said, "but the one I respect the most is called the National Weather Service ... and they just affirmed to us on the call before we came out to you, that this went faster and heavier than their projections last night.”
That led Roker to turn again to Twitter.
On Friday, Savannah Guthrie tried to lighten up the mood by taking note of their current surroundings. While the snowy squabble centered on New York City, all the TODAY anchors were in Sochi, Russia at the time covering the Winter Olympics.
"By the way, the IOC just added tweeting to the 2018 Winter Games," Guthrie said. "It’s a tough competition."