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Posted: Friday, 20 May 2016 7:57AM

Laura Buchtel stepping aside after a decade on WWL



We say good-bye today to a member of our team for the past ten years.  Meteorologist Laura Buchtel is leaving the WWL family.

"This is by far the hardest personal choice and decision I have ever had to make," she explained.

While we've been waking up to her forecasts for a decade now, Buchtel says it has been tough waking up in the middle of the night to get ready for a morning broadcast.

"The 2:00am wake up call... for ten years now, getting up at two o'clock every morning has been an interesting endeavor in a married life."

She says it will be wonderful to stay up past 7:00pm and go to bed when her husband does, instead of sleeping when he's awake and being awake when he's asleep.

"My husband is so excited that I am going to have a quote, 'normal life.'"

She also looks forward to not having to work holidays anymore and can be off of work when it is after hours.

"You kind of just want to have Christmas off," she explained.  "I want something where I am not on call all the time."

What's next?

"I'm not exactly sure.  I have a few ideas of things I might want to do, probably some normal things... you know, normal nine to five."

Bottom line, Buchtel says this is what is best for her and her family.

"It's one of those things where I think it is time for a change."

Here is Buchtel's biography from WWL TV:

Laura knew she wanted to be a meteorologist at 12 years old, right around the time Hurricane Andrew delayed her first day of sixth grade at St. Paul's Episcopal School. She was glued to the TV watching the radar and doing pretend weathercasts for her family and anyone else who'd listen.

Born and raised in Metairie, Laura attended Dominican High School, then Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi, earning a degree in broadcast meteorology in Dec. 2003. While she was there, Laura said she presented weathercasts for the campus television studio.

Laura interned at Channel 4 during the summer of her senior year at MSU, spending the afternoons forecasting with WWL-TV Chief Meteorologist Carl Arredondo.

"It was a great learning experience, and made me even more excited to begin my career," she said.

Laura's first on-air job put her in the role of weekend meteorologist for KOLR 10 News in Springfield, Missouri, where she witnessed many stretches of bad weather.

"One night that stands out in my mind, we had a strong tornado track across the entire viewing area, and we had continuous coverage for eight hours," she said.

She moved back to New Orleans just five days before Hurricane Katrina, but then quickly evacuated to Tupelo, Mississippi.

In December 2005, WWL-TV asked Laura to work in the Weather Center for a week while the meteorology staff got a much needed break. Not long after that, Laura returned to the city for good and now serves as the meteorologist for the Eyewitness Morning News.

Since joining the team Laura has been honored with Louisiana Associated Press awards for Best Weathercast and Breaking Weather, as well as a New Orleans Press Club award for Best Weathercast.

Laura loves to travel, watch the Miss. State Bulldogs football team, and dine out at her favorite New Orleans restaurants. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and miniature schnauzer.

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