The United States often has a dominating weather pattern during El Niño winters. Under the jetstream, the storm track follows the Gulf Coast and then turns northeast towards the Mid-Atlantic.
View the graphic showing traditional winter trends during an El Niño. See the southern U.S. red arrow. El Niño generally brings this storm track to the forefront throughout winter.
People ask me if weather has started. No switch on the wall signals the onset of El Niño storms. However, this Gulf hurricane is unusual for October.
We're still in hurricane season, which usually moves east-west. A hurricane from Africa would have crossed the tropical Atlantic and curled north into the northern Gulf of Mexico to reach its current location.