A Love Letter To Our Leading Lady of Weather

A Love Letter To Our Leading Lady of Weather

As I got home from work today, I did my daily scroll down Facebook to see what I missed during my busy afternoon. I let out a loud “awww man!” that caused my husband to look over at me, curious at what caused my dismay.

“After 45 years at WDSU, Chief Meteorologist Margaret Orr announces her retirement, set for the end of March. Share your messages to Margaret here and help us celebrate her incredible career.”

Well, Margaret, my message isn’t coming in the form or a comment, but a love letter to you – our leading lady of weather here in the New Orleans area.

The outpouring of thousands of comments thanking you for the time you spent on our television screens shows just how much you are cherished by our community. There is something different about our local NOLA celebrities, a different kind of love we feel for people like you. A feeling of being connected – you’ve been there for the happy moments, like parading through the Quarter during Mardi Gras, and also the worst moments, as we watched you get choked up and pray as a storm approached our viewing area. Our connection to our news staff, particularly the weather experts, is a special relationship. Margaret, you are our Mom, our Aunt, our Nanny, our guiding light who we look to when we need a comforting word in the time of need. You have been there right by our side to tell us the good and bad for over 30 different major storms over the past couple decades.

I don’t know how many hours of my life I have spent watching you on WDSU, Margaret, but I can imagine it’s a LOT living in south Louisiana. You have been more than just someone delivering us the weather; you became a part of our homes. You are a staple in our evening routine, as we get home after work and put the news on while we juggle homework and dinner and baths. You are the absolute first channel I flip to when bad weather is approaching, a calming voice amongst the storm. There’s no one I’d rather see chatting up the brass bands in the Quarter and making them play “When The Saints Go Marching In!” Everyone knows you love your Saints. You are a role model for little girls everywhere; you let your light shine and encourage women to do the same.

A McGehee girl and a proud New Orleanian, you have given us decades of good memories to cherish. I hope we still get updates about your garden (and that you are drinking plenty of water!). I hope your prayer candles continues to sell out at Fleurty Girl every hurricane season. I hope you grace us with your opinions on every major storm in the future; I need your updates and input! It truly feels like we will be losing a member of our dinner table at the end of the month. And that is a true testament to the impact you have made on our community. The witching hour will not be the same without you.

Cheers to your retirement, Margaret! You will forever go down in New Orleans history as one of the greats. Enjoy your time with Bill, your children, your grandchildren, and of course – Bleu! You deserve all the sunny days ahead, whether they’re spent reading a book or parading through our streets.

Margaret Orr, thank you for being a true legend of New Orleans. You are the epitome of what this city is – love, light, happiness, community, and absolute brilliance! We love you, and thank you for decades of perfection.

Our local queen was recently quoted saying “Stay with your dreams, work hard, nothing in life is easy. If you get knocked down, pick yourself up and move on.”

There is nothing more Margaret or NOLA than that!

Dana Wattigney
Moving from Nebraska in middle school, Dana considers herself a New Orleanian 25 years later. She now lives in Belle Chasse with her husband Ryan, 12-year-old Mila, and 8-year-old Rex. As the Executive Director of the YMCA in her community, she is very involved in all aspects of family life. You can find her on the weekend doing DIY projects, cheering on LSU or the Saints, and spending time with her family. A lover of all revelry, there is no festival, concert, or event that she won't go to! Catch her with the Krewe of Cleopatra each Mardi Gras. She gets out of town with her kids as much as possible, they enjoy the outdoors, especially the mountains & the beach. Affectionately known as "Dana Dolittle" to her friends, you can expect her to have a random animal she is trying to help at any given time. Dana loves to write & says there are no topics off limits.


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