(KLFY) – La Niña returns this winter for the third consecutive time, driving drier weather in South Louisiana.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Southwest, Gulf Coast, and eastern seaboard will experience warmer than average winter temperatures.

KLFY Chief Meteorologist Heath Morton said that it has to do with the temperature of water in the equatorial pacific.

“La Niña is cooler [water], El Niño is warmer [water]. So usually for us, it means drier winters,” he said.

According to NOAA’s U.S. Winter Outlook released by the Climate Prediction Center, forecasters said that there is a 75% chance La Niña will stick around through the months of November, December and January.

Meaning that drier weather is likely to stick around through then.

As this is the third consecutive year of La Niña, Chief Meteorologist Heath Morton said that it is unusual and that South Louisiana is seeing those impacts, especially in terms of the Hurricane season.

“Usually we’ll have one or two [La Niña], and then we’ll have an El Niño phase,” he said. “That’s why the hurricane seasons have been so active because La Niña usually favors more hurricane activity. El Niño favors less activity, so the La Niña has really enhanced the hurricane season.”

Below are some of the projected outlooks from NOAA.

Courtesy of NOAA
Courtesy of NOAA

Bottom line it means La Niña, more active hurricane seasons and dryer winters…For us, usually, we get active hurricane seasons and drier than normal winters. It has been a dry fall, autumn, but that’s usually how it works.

KLFY Chief Meteorologist Heath Morton