La Niña winter likely to extend drought for SWLA - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

La Niña winter likely to extend drought for SWLA

Photo Courtesy: NOAA Photo Courtesy: NOAA
Photo Courtesy: NOAA Photo Courtesy: NOAA
Photo Courtesy: NOAA Photo Courtesy: NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have issued their annual Winter Outlook. NOAA is expecting another La Niña winter.

Last winter was a La Niña winter so you can expect similar conditions this year as last year. That's bad news for the drought situation according to Lake Charles National Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Sweeney. "Dryness is the big message," says Mr. Sweeney. "Winter time is when we are supposed to get our rainfall, and La Niña will inhibit those gulf storms from developing. Canadian Highs will be blocking that precipitation."

The soil is unprecedentedly dry according to Mr. Sweeney. "This is not normal controlled
 burning conditions. Dry and dormant grass will readily burn and tall grass will burn very fast."

Winter is typically the season when SWLA makes up for its rainfall deficit. Drought conditions at the Lake Charles Airport remain 15 inches under normal for 2011. Total rainfall for the year stands at 31.21 inches, about two-thirds the normal amount of 46.47 inches.  "We just aren't expecting to make up the rainfall we need", said Mr. Sweeney.

Although the NOAA Winter Outlook calls for a warmer winter for SWLA, the Canadian Cold fronts will still make it this far south. That means the possibility for a few trips below the freezing temperature threshold exist, similar to last winter. SWLA saw a few hard freezes in January of last year which also meant a dent in the mosquito population.

You can view the NOAA report here: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20111020_winteroutlook.html

For the latest conditions you can check the KPLC weather page at www.kplctv.com/weather 

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly