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’

We are in an El Niño 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, the chief meteorologist at Fox station WVUE in New Orleans, has had to utilize his vast understanding of Louisiana’s climate during his coverage of El Niño’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 explained that El Niño is something we look forward to in the decrease of Atlantic hurricane development and activity. According to Katz, the weather phenomenon causes downstream winds throughout the Caribbean’s southern gulf as well as the Atlantic.

“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,” Katz stated.

However, Katz warned that you can still get major hurricanes in an El Niño year despite the lower storm count. If a hurricane is able to develop with strong enough winds, it will be able to “beat El Niño” and its downcurrents, according to Katz.

Based on his analysis, Katz has several predictions for what southeast Louisiana can expect for this El Niño. According to Katz’s predictions, the coming weeks will be mild and rainy, which he hopes will offset the ongoing drought Louisiana has been dealing with.

“I would hope it would be a bit wetter. We would get cloudier, kind of damp, cool days with some rain, which would be a good thing,” Katz stated.

Katz’s predictions for southeast Louisiana during the El Niño winter mirror a lot of fellow meteorologists’ expectations, like meteorologist Scot Pilié from the Weather Channel. Pilié claims to back up what local weathercasters expect in a post on X.

“[There will be 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.” Pilié stated.

Zack Fradella, another meteorologist at WVUE, also hopes for rain to help put out the drought in the Bayou State. In a post on Facebook, Fradella said “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. We’ll see!”

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About the Contributor
Jacob L’Hommedieu
Jacob L’Hommedieu, Worldview Editor
Jacob L'Hommedieu is the Worldview Editor of The Maroon. He is a Senior Political Science Major with a Minor in Social Media Communications. Other than writing, he enjoys spending time with his friends and relaxing on the front porch with a cool glass of water.

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