State climatologist: ‘Very likely’ La. will be impacted by named storm this year

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Louisiana leaders introduced new Louisiana State Climatologist Jay Grymes on Wednesday.

Gov. Jeff Jandry and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Jacques Thibodeaux jointly held a news conference to announce the new position and discuss hurricane preparedness for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season.

The climatologist role results from a partnership with the Louisiana Office of State Climatology at Louisiana State University, but Grymes will work directly for GOHSEP as the “governor’s resident weather expert.” Landry said creating a climatologist GOHSEP position was a priority for him and his transition team.

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“With Louisiana’s unpredictable weather, as we see, weather experts reporting directly to GOHSEP, we believe, are extremely important.”

As the first state climatologist formally under GOHSEP, Gryme’s role will ensure the state has “one concise voice” for weather events, Landry said. The climatologist will also be a direct resource for each of the 64 state emergency managers.

“We want to make sure our parishes, our industries and our citizens are getting proper information directly from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security as it relates to weather events.”

Grymes has over 30 years of weather and climate experience and has served under two previous administrations as a United Coordination Group resource.

This role will “bridge the gap” for weather and climate information between GOHSEP and LSU.

Thibodeaux said expanding the state climatologist role at GOHSEP was a “logical progression.”

“It’s always been a weakness that we’ve never had the capability of having a state climatologist within GOSHEP.”

2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Grymes said at the conference that while Hurricane Beryl is a “monster of a storm” that will make it to the Gulf, Louisiana residents do not have to be worried about local effects.

“I want them to take the alarm and turn it off. This is not going to be a threat for Louisiana.”

The 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be an overactive one. He said it is “very likely” that Louisiana will be impacted by a named storm this year, and now is the time for residents to begin preparing.

This is an especially important practice with the increase of “tropical bombs” —  high-intensity storms that are created through rapid intensification.

“It is important that we be aware that that type of ramp-up of tropical systems can happen anytime, anywhere, and that includes the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “Let’s get started, and let’s get ready today so that when that storm likely does come, we don’t have a last-minute rush for materials and resources to get families prepared.”

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit