Jay Grymes Named Interim Louisiana State Climatologist

February 09, 2024

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BATON ROUGE – Jay Grymes, chief meteorologist for WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge, will serve as interim Louisiana state climatologist, effective Feb. 15, while LSU conducts a national search for a permanent state climatologist. The search will begin immediately, and Grymes will also maintain his role at WAFB.

Grymes has more than 30 years of experience in the field of weather and climate, including 25 years in higher education at LSU and the University of Delaware. He previously served as Louisiana’s state climatologist from 1991 to 2003, providing data and information to the state and the media during a number of weather events and storms. Grymes joined WAFB in 1996 and was named chief meteorologist in 2003. He has also served as a consultant for the Louisiana Department of Justice, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and the Louisiana State Police. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Delaware.

“We are very pleased that Jay Grymes has accepted the position of interim state climatologist,” LSU Executive Vice President & Provost Roy Haggerty said. “We know that with his experience and background, he will do a fantastic job in this role. His commitment to serving our state has been evident throughout his career, and he has earned the trust of state officials, the scientific community, the media, and the people of Louisiana through his many years of dedicated service.”    

The Louisiana Office of State Climatology, housed at LSU, is responsible for Louisiana climate monitoring, climate data archiving, and public outreach through the issuance of reports and summaries. The state climatologist provides weather and climate information to public and private interests to improve decision-making that affects the economic efficiency and the well-being of the people of Louisiana. This includes providing regular input to and review of the U.S. Drought Monitor; providing briefings to state and federal officials as needed; and responding to questions from the media and stakeholder groups by evaluating and interpreting weather and climate data, among other duties.

A new addition to the role of state climatologist is partnering with the LSU AgCenter’s Extension Service to coordinate with its vast network of farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers to provide information, education and outreach to every parish in the state.

“We are excited about the inclusion of agricultural extension into the position of state climatologist,” said Vice President for Agriculture and Dean of the LSU College of Agriculture Matt Lee. “Weather and climate have massive impacts on the agriculture industry, so it’s a natural fit for these areas to work hand in hand. Weather, climate patterns and the production of food affect every person in Louisiana, and we look forward to serving the people of our state with improved research, outreach and reporting in these areas.”