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How is La Niña a hazard for ocean workers?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2022 | Maritime Law |

Local weather coverage often mentions La Niña, but many Louisianans may not know precisely what La Niña is or how it may affect them and their families.

With the vast number of New Orleans jobs that center around the Gulf of Mexico, this weather occurrence warrants a little more attention.

What is La Niña?

La Niña is a weather pattern that originates in the Pacific Ocean. When La Niña occurs, strong winds push across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, spurring an upwelling of colder deep waters that lower surface ocean temperatures by a couple of degrees. While this slight temperature variation seems insignificant, the change affects the weather worldwide. La Niña’s effects vary by region, with some areas receiving significantly more rainfall than usual which creates flooding, and others suffering from dry conditions that lead to drought. The La Niña weather pattern revisits every three to five years, though it can stick around for multiple years.

How is La Niña a threat to ocean workers?

The atmospheric changes caused by La Niña create turbulent weather in and along the Gulf of Mexico. Some hazards that La Niña presents for ocean workers include significant amounts of lightning, wind and rain. La Niña also leads to a higher number of Atlantic-named storms, further impacting the safety and livelihood of New Orleans-based ocean workers.

The La Niña weather pattern is common, but its frequent occurrence does not make it any less treacherous. The effects of this pattern are far-reaching and potentially hazardous to everyone impacted, especially those who work on the water.