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La Nina and snowfall in south Louisiana

3 years 7 months 3 weeks ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 September 25, 2020 3:16 PM September 25, 2020 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

We are currently in a La Nina phase of the ENSO pattern, with more specific details on what that means you can read Dr.Josh's blog on the topic here (https://www.wbrz.com/news/la-nina-impacts-expected-to-carry-into-winter).

If you have lived here long enough, you may have heard people say that it always snows following an active hurricane season. There may be some truth to that.

The two most recent "big" snow events we've had in metro Baton Rouge were in 2008 and 2017 where we had measurable snowfall over one inch.

On December 11, 2008 metro airport in Baton Rouge recorded 3" of snowfall.

And the most recent snow event.. December 8, 2017 when 3.5" of snowfall was recorded at the airport.

Both of these snow events followed an active hurricane season. Baton Rouge residents certainly remember the 2008 season when Hurricane Gustav tore through the area.

2017 was also active, in which there were three category 4 landfalls on U.S. territory.

Both of these seasons were followed by the La Nina ENSO pattern into the winter season. During La Nina, the jet stream lifts farther north and results in drier and warmer conditions during the winter months in the southeast. What also can occur are extreme cold outbreaks and more significant severe weather events. The frequency of cold temperatures and active weather is lower - but the severity is higher.

While snow has not followed every active hurricane season we have had, it all has to do with the pattern following summer. Climatology shows that we frequently have more measurable snow days during a La Nina pattern in the winter months (even though we have had very few snow days).

So, with that, we will just have to wait and see how this winter plays out!

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