Climate and monthly weather forecast
Louisiana, USA

Flag of Louisiana, USA
Flag of Louisiana, USA

The climate of Louisiana

Louisiana has a mainly humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with long hot summers and short, mild winters. Louisiana lies in the Deep South region of South Central United States in the vicinity of the Gulf of Mexico. The southern location in the continent often brings a host of storms in spring and summer. Precipitation is ample, with wet and dry seasons in the year. Louisiana shares borders with Arkansas in the north, Mississippi in the east, the Gulf of Mexico in the south, and Texas in the west. The low latitudes and proximity to the Gulf chiefly influence the climate.

Louisiana, the Bayou State, has an average elevation of only 30 meters above sea level. Driskill Mountain has the highest point at 163 meters and New Orleans, the lowest at 2.5 meters below sea level. The state has vast areas of coastal marshes and swamps, wet savannas, and the elevated regions of longleaf pine forest and bald cypress. The Mississippi River forms a large part of the eastern boundary. The geography has two divisions, the uplands in the north, and alluvial swamplands, marshlands, beaches, barrier islands on the coast. The Gulf of Mexico, Red and Ouachita rivers and other minor streams called bayous constitute the main water bodies.

Summers are hot and humid in Louisiana, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms that bring intense tropical downpours. The June to September period has average high temperatures above 90°F (32.2°C), while nights remain below 70°F (21.1°C). The high humidity and dew point make the heat feel like 120°F (48.9°C). Winters are mild in the south with day highs often above 66°F (18.9°C), while the north sees colder days below 59°F (15°C). Nights occasionally register below freezing, with average low temperatures between 37°F (2.8°C) in the north and 46°F (7.8°C) near the Gulf. Cold fronts from the north can push night temperatures below 20°F (-6.7°C) in the north. Spring and autumn are milder than the summer.

The average rainfall in Louisiana ranges from 48" (1219mm) in the north to 75" (1905mm) in the south. Rainfall occurs throughout the year, with a predominantly wet season from April to September and the dry season from October to March. October is the driest month, while May is the wettest, with even 20" (508mm) during the month and up to 10" (254mm) in a single day. Snowfall and sleet are rare near the Gulf of Mexico, while the north receives light snow occasionally. The growing season is long and ranges from 220 days in the north to 300 in the south. The annual sunshine lasts for at least 3000 hours in Louisiana, with the coast enjoying the sunshine even in the winter.

Plain Dealing recorded the highest ever temperature of 114°F (45.6°C) on August 10, 1936, in Louisiana, while Minden recorded the coldest temperature of -16°F (-26.7°C) on February 13, 1899.

The best time to visit Louisiana

The best time to visit Louisiana is during the spring months from March to May and the fall season from September to November. Summers tend to be hot and humid in most regions of the state, particularly the south. The shoulder months are mild with comfortable temperatures, but spring is rainy and prone to storms. Autumn is colorful and the best time of the year, with less rain, clear skies, and temperatures in the pleasant range of 60°F (15.6°C) to 80°F (26.7°C). Winters are cold in the northern part of Louisiana, where freezing nights occur routinely at the peak of January.

The worst time to visit Louisiana

The worst time to visit Louisiana is in the summer when the temperatures are hot, and the humidity makes the heat oppressive. The southern parts are prone to torrential rains and thunderstorms. Temperatures often cross the 100°F (37.8°C) mark in the summer, and midday heat is unbearable for many. Tropical cyclones and hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast regularly and move inland during late spring and early summer. Heavy rains result in floods, even though there is a system of levees and floodways to prevent significant damages. There is no shortage of fun activities during the hot season to keep cool, but it is a prudent idea to avoid a visit in summer to Louisiana.

Weather hazards

Louisiana experiences thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tropical cyclones during late spring and early summer. Storms often result in water damage to lowland areas near New Orleans, which are below sea level. April and May in the spring season are usually the rainiest months in the majority of the state. Thunderstorms occur for at least 60 days in the year, while an average of 27 tornadoes hit the coast annually. The entire state is vulnerable to tornadoes, especially the southern region. Tornadoes are frequent from January to March and cause severe damage to property and communication lines. Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the southeast in August 2005, and New Orleans faced severe damages with up to 20 feet of water in many places.

Weather in January

January is the coldest month of the year in Louisiana, with freezing nights in the northern portion of the state. The average high temperatures are in the 54°F (12.2°C) to 62°F (16.7°C), while the average low temperatures are in between the 33°F (0.6°C) to 47°F (8.3°C). Weather in January »

Weather in February

February is mild to cold in the winter of Louisiana, with moderate sunshine and precipitation. The average high temperatures are in the 59°F (15°C) to 66°F (18.9°C) range, while the average low temperatures are between 36°F (2.2°C) to 49°F (9.4°C). Weather in February »

Weather in March

March is a beautiful month in the spring season in Louisiana, which sees warm weather amid a rise in precipitation. The sunshine is ample, even though a polar air mass reaches the interior of the state and occasionally the south. Weather in March »

Weather in April

April is a wet month in the spring season of Louisiana, with unpredictable weather in its tow. Clear skies quickly give way to dark patches that bring heavy rainfall in brief periods. The average high temperatures are in the 75°F (23.9°C) to 80°F (26.7°C), while the average low temperatures are in the 51°F (10.6°C) to 61°F (16.1°C). Weather in April »

Weather in May

May is the wettest month of the year in Louisiana, with 6" (152mm) to 8" (203mm) of heavy rainfall. The days are humid and hot as the average temperatures range from 82°F (27.8°C) to 86°F (30°C), while the nights are mild to warm in the 60°F (15.6°C) to 70°F (21.1°C) zone. Weather in May »

Weather in June

June is the beginning of the hot and humid summer in Louisiana, with heavy rainfall amid intense sunshine. The average high temperatures are in the hot zone of 87°F (30.6°C) to 91°F (32.8°C), while the average low temperatures stay between 67°F (19.4°C) to 74°F (23.3°C). Weather in June »

Weather in July

July is the peak of the summer season in Louisiana, with heavy rainfall amid many sunny days. Day temperatures are in the hot 88°F (31.1°C) to 94°F (34.4°C) range, while nights are warm between 70°F (21.1°C) to 77°F (25°C). Weather in July »

Weather in August

August is hot in the summer of Louisiana, with average high temperatures in the 89°F (31.7°C) to 94°F (34.4°C). Nights tend to be warm between 69°F (20.6°C) to 77°F (25°C) and retain some of the humidity during the day, especially near the southern coastal areas. Weather in August »

Weather in September

September transitions to the autumn season in Louisiana, with plenty of sunshine amid long days. There is a definite decrease in humidity with each passing day, and the oppressive nature of heat changes to a bearable one. The average high temperatures are in the warm 86°F (30°C) to 89°F (31.7°C) range, while the average low temperatures are in the warm 62°F (16.7°C) to 74°F (23.3°C) range. Weather in September »

Weather in October

October is the driest month of the year and lies in the heart of the beautiful autumn season in Louisiana. The temperatures are mild to warm in the average range of 51°F (10.6°C) to 81°F (27.2°C), with a daily 8 hours of glorious sunshine. Weather in October »

Weather in November

November is colorful in Louisiana as the autumn season is in the final stages. The weather is comfortable, with the average high temperatures in the 66°F (18.9°C) to 72°F (22.2°C) and nights in the mild 42°F (5.6°C) to 52°F (11.1°C) range. Weather in November »

Weather in December

December is the beginning of the mild to the cold winter season in Louisiana with partly cloudy skies. The southern location of the state in the continent and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico keep the days warm in the 57°F (13.9°C) to 65°F (18.3°C) range. Weather in December »
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