Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Meteorologists predict rainy winter due to “El Niño”

Jacob L’Hommedieu

We are in an El Nino year. For Louisiana, it means mild and rainy winters, and in this instance for 2023, a very hot summer with a severe drought. Bruce Katz is the chief meteorologist at Fox Station WVUE in New Orleans. Katz has had to utilize his vast understanding of Louisiana’s climate during his coverage of El Nino’s effects on southeastern Louisiana in this momentous weather year.
He explained how El Niño and its sister pattern, La Niña, are opposite patterns. “They both balance the atmosphere of the world. You need heat, you need cold, you need rain, you need dry. So those cycles last anywhere from two to five years.” Katz also explains El Niño is something we look forward to in the decrease of Atlantic hurricane development and activity. “(El Niño) creates its own wind field that creates downstream winds across the Caribbean extreme southern Gulf and the Atlantic. And that tends to eliminate or chop off the storms that develop into possible you know, during an El Niño year you can certainly have storms. However, it diminishes the probability of a strong storm. And if it’s weak enough, it could kill it.”
However, Katz warns you can still get major hurricanes in an El Niño year (like Andrew in 1992) despite the lower storm count. “If the El Niño trade winds at a specific point aren’t quite as strong, then if the hurricane environment is developed and strong enough it can develop and beat El Niño during more of a low period in the winds. The winds are there, but at times stronger, weaker; all it takes is one storm.” He also pointed out that 18-19 named storms developed in the Atlantic basin, despite none of them being a threat to the Louisiana coast. “So, one storm a year that hits you is a big year. 17 storms, 18 storms in a year that don’t hit you or threaten you. It’s a big year, but not a big year for us.”
However, Katz predicts and analyzes what southeast Louisiana can expect for this El Niño. “We normally would see a rainier winter, more mild type temperatures. You do at times get like we have a cold front now, a front that moves in, but in general, the average would be wetter and a bit milder than average.” Due to the constant drought throughout Louisiana and our state’s climatology history, Katz hopes for a rainier winter. “. Going back and looking at research and history, I would hope it would be a bit wetter. It would be mild to cool at times, and we would get cloudier, kind of damp, cool days with some rain, which would be a good thing.” According to Katz’s predictions, in the coming weeks will be mild and rainy. Katz’s predictions for southeast Louisiana during the El Niño winter mirror a lot of fellow meteorologists’ expectations.

Meteorologist Scot Pilie of the Weather Channel claims to back up what weathercasters hear locally expect. “It’s growing increasingly likely that some much-needed rainfall will arrive, especially as we transition into the winter season; a complex pattern over the next 7-10 days as the subtropical jet stream attempts to turn more active. Typically, this pattern results in multiple rainfall opportunities, which would be extremely beneficial for parched sections of the Gulf Coast & Southeast U.S.” Another meteorologist at WVUE, Zack Fradella, also hopes for rain to help put out the drought in the Bayou State. “El Niño leads to a wet winter for us and maybe, just maybe we’re seeing the hints of this pattern flip in our long-range models. Multiple Gulf Coast lows and wet periods showing up by mid-November. We’ll see!”

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About the Contributor
Jacob L’Hommedieu, Sports Editor
Jacob L’Hommedieu is a senior political science student with a minor in social media and is this semester’s Sports Editor. His favorite sport to play is lacrosse, while his favorite sport to watch is baseball. Contact his email, [email protected], if you have any questions or concerns.

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