Carl Arredondo, WWL’s chief meteorologist and a 28-year veteran of the Eyewitness News team, announced his retirement due to failing eyesight. “It becomes hard when someone sticks out their hand to shake yours and you don’t see it,” he says.
Carl Arredondo, chief meteorologist at Tegna’s CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL and a 28-year veteran of the Eyewitness News team, will be stepping down from the position next Friday, March 1 due to failing eyesight.
“I didn’t want to be one of those people who stayed around too long,” Arredondo said.
Arredondo said he suffers from a condition known as retinitis pigmentosa, which is described on the National Eye Institute’s website as a “rare, genetic disorder that involves a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina.”
The site says that common symptoms include “difficulty seeing at night and a loss of side (peripheral) vision.”
He said it has gotten worse in the past two to three years and “I think it’s time for me to step down because if I can’t do severe weather coverage at 100%, I really shouldn’t be doing it at all.”
“No one knows more about New Orleans weather, and no one is more committed to keeping our audience prepared than Carl,” said Keith Esparros, WWL’s news director.
“The fact that he would walk away from his career because he feels he may soon be unable to live up to his own high standards is a testament to his integrity and professionalism.”
“It becomes hard when someone sticks out their hand to shake yours and you don’t see it,” said Arredondo.
WWL General Manager Tod Smith praises Arredondo’s tenure at the station: “I’ve known Carl for more than 25 years and in that time, he’s always been there when people needed him most. His commitment to keeping us safe and informed is second to none.”
Arredondo started at WWL in 1991 after leaving The Weather Channel, where he was an on-camera meteorologist. His most memorable work undoubtedly came before, during and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when he often worked 20-hour days to shepherd the city through the crisis.
He was the only local TV meteorologist to remain on the air during the storm. His work on air came despite the knowledge that his own home had been damaged by the historic storm. Arredondo did a news story in the storm’s aftermath, showing his return to his rain- and mud-damaged home.
Arredondo earned his American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval in 1989, and two years later, he left The Weather Channel in Atlanta to go to WWL.
“Louisiana weather is very important to everyone because it can change rapidly, and I try to keep that in mind for the people who work outside, the fishing community, and parents who have to dress their kids for everyday activities.”
NOTE: Here are a few comments from viewers.
You’ll be missed on WWL, but will remain in the hearts of many. You’ve kept so many well-informed through the years and their safety has always been a priority of yours. Proud of you and I’m grateful for our lifelong friendship. Congratulations on such a successful career, and best wishes as you move on to the next chapter(s) of your wonderful life. — Hector Garza Esq.
Nooooo! Awww Carl I’m so sorry to hear this. Sure will miss you, but most of all I/we all want you and your eyes to get rest. 💜🙏🏻💜🙏🏻 — Sandy Callegan Hickman
Carl, it was shocking to hear you are stepping away. Please be well! You are a New Orleans broadcasting legend – we will all miss you, sir. — Phillip Colwart
Thanks for many great years of weather coverage. I’ve been seeing you on TV literally since I was a baby. Best of luck to you and I hope you are able to get your vision loss under control. — Bradley S Halprin
Going to miss you. You are part of what we love at Ch 4. Praying for you and family. — Scott Suhor