The climate of 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
period has average high temperatures above 90°F, while nights remain below 70°F. The high humidity and dew point make the heat feel like 120°F. Winters are mild in the south with day highs often above 66°F, while the north sees colder days below 59°F. Nights occasionally register below freezing, with average low temperatures between 37°F in the north and 46°F near the Gulf. Cold fronts from the north can push night temperatures below 20°F in the north. Spring and autumn are milder than the summer.
The average rainfall in Louisiana ranges from 48" in the north to 75" in the south. Rainfall occurs throughout the year, with a predominantly wet season from April
to September and the dry season from October
. October is the driest month, while May
is the wettest, with even 20" during the month and up to 10" 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 on August
10, 1936, in Louisiana, while Minden recorded the coldest temperature of -16°F on February
The best time to visit Louisiana
The best time to visit Louisiana
is during the spring months from March
and the fall season from September
. 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 to 80°F. 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 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.
Spring weather in Louisiana
Spring, spanning from March
, is characterized by rising temperatures, transitioning from mild to warmer conditions. Rain is a significant aspect of Louisiana
's spring, with May often receiving precipitation up to 20". The northern region sees temperatures from 59°F to 75°F, while southern areas remain warmer. This season also witnesses the onset of storms, making it essential to monitor the weather closely during visits.
Summer weather in Louisiana
's summer is renowned for its sweltering heat and elevated humidity levels. From June
, daytime temperatures usually soar above 90°F, with nights being slightly cooler, remaining below 70°F. Afternoon thunderstorms with intense downpours are frequent. The combination of high humidity and scorching temperatures can sometimes make the perceived heat reach up to 120°F, especially in the southern regions.
Autumn weather in Louisiana
Autumn in Louisiana
, from September
, is a delightful season. Temperatures drop to a comfortable range, oscillating between 60°F and 80°F. The rains from the wet season begin to recede, leading to clearer skies. The northern parts, in particular, are adorned with an array of colors from the changing foliage, making it an enchanting time to explore the state.
Winter weather in Louisiana
Winter brings mild conditions to Louisiana
's southern regions, with daytime highs consistently staying above 66°F. In contrast, the northern parts experience colder days, with temperatures dropping to below 59°F and nights frequently registering below freezing, between 37°F to 46°F. On rare occasions, cold fronts from the north can plummet temperatures to below 20°F in the northern areas. Snowfall is a rare sight near the Gulf, but the northern regions might experience light snow sporadically.
Weather in January
is typically the coldest month in Louisiana
, marking the peak of winter in the state. Daytime temperatures in the southern regions, including cities like New Orleans, often stay above 66°F. In contrast, the northern areas, notably near cities such as Minden, witness chillier days, with temperatures frequently dropping below 59°F. Weather in January »
Weather in February
As winter starts to wane, February
witnesses a gradual rise in temperatures, signaling the early onset of spring. While the month remains cool, it's typically slightly warmer than January
. In southern areas, encompassing cities like Baton Rouge, temperatures remain relatively moderate with daytime highs often oscillating around 68°F to 72°F. Weather in February »
Weather in March
marks the transition from winter to spring in Louisiana
, with temperatures climbing steadily throughout the month. Southern regions, encompassing cities like Lafayette, begin to experience daytime highs between 72°F and 76°F. Weather in March »
Weather in April
firmly entrenches Louisiana
in springtime, characterized by warming temperatures and significant rainfall. In the southern parts, which include cities such as Lake Charles, daytime highs usually fluctuate between 78°F and 82°F. Weather in April »
Weather in May
signifies the tail end of spring, and a transition towards the hot and humid summer season. The southern parts of the state, including locales like New Orleans, witness daytime highs often ranging from 84°F to 88°F. Weather in May »
Weather in June
heralds the onset of summer in Louisiana
, bringing with it the characteristic heat and high humidity the region is known for. The southern sections of the state, including vibrant areas like Baton Rouge, see daytime highs generally oscillating between 89°F and 93°F. Weather in June »
Weather in July
sits at the heart of Louisiana
's summer season, characterized by its sweltering heat and pronounced humidity. The southern parts of the state, encompassing coastal cities such as Lafayette, generally experience daytime highs hovering between 91°F and 95°F. Weather in July »
Weather in August
continues to uphold Louisiana
's reputation for sweltering summers, with the month typically being the climax of the season's heat. The southern sectors, including prominent cities such as New Orleans, usually experience daytime highs oscillating between 90°F and 94°F. Weather in August »
Weather in September
marks the transition from the peak summer heat to the early hints of fall in Louisiana
. The southern regions of the state, encompassing areas like Baton Rouge, generally observe daytime highs between 86°F and 90°F. Weather in September »
Weather in October
ushers in genuine fall sensations across Louisiana
, with the sweltering heat of the previous months making way for more moderate and comfortable conditions. In the state's southern regions, which include cities such as Houma, daytime highs generally settle between 78°F and 82°F. Weather in October »
Weather in November
is emblematic of late fall, showcasing a more pronounced drop in temperatures as the state nears the threshold of winter. In the southern expanses, which encapsulate areas like Lafayette, daytime highs fluctuate between 68°F and 72°F. Weather in November »
Weather in December
marks the beginning of winter in Louisiana
, with temperatures continuing their downward trajectory, particularly as the month progresses. In the southern parts, encompassing areas such as Lake Charles, daytime highs are generally found between 60°F and 64°F. Weather in December »