Louisiana’s Top Weather Stories Of 2015
For many people the record high temperatures that were a part of the Christmas season will most likely be top of mind when it comes to weather events for 2015. Oddly enough those warm and unseasonable conditions are just a part of the state's top weather story.
To go along with those warm late fall and winter temperatures you'd have to include the lack of tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico during hurricane season too. Would you believe that these two things are related? They are. Their cause is the state's top weather story according to State Climatologist Barry Keim.
The beauty of El Nino is it's helped keep our tropical season very quiet in the Gulf of Mexico and it's now bringing us very early winter warmth.
Keim said he chose El Nino as the top weather story because of the strength and duration of the phenomenon. This year's El Nino influenced weather pattern actually began in March. It's effect during the warm weather months was to keep tropical development at bay. Which it did quite nicely. Keim says the effect of El Nino in winter is what we have just experienced, above normal temperatures.
Second on Keim's list was a strong line of thunderstorms that rumbled across the state in late April. This system brought some of the strongest storms of the spring season from Shreveport all the way to New Orleans.
This event spawned five tornadoes, it blew rail cars off of the Huey Long Bridge in Harahan down in Jefferson Parish, and it also produced a 70 mile per hour wind gust at New Orleans International Airport.
At number three on Keim's list of top weather stories was the story of not much weather to talk about. By that we mean it was hot and dry and the ground was parched and aching for some rain.
And 53-percent of Louisiana was in either extreme or exceptional drought, which are the two worst classes according to the US Drought Monitor.
Keim told the Louisiana Radio Network that from late Summer through Mid-October 86% of the state was in drought. That drought began to ease as we finally saw frontal passages during the month of October and early November that brought much needed rain to the state.