New Orleans has a humid subtropical climate featuring short, generally mild winters and hot humid summers.
The weather in New Orleans is known to change rapidly and it's always important to be prepared. Rainfall is likely at any time of year, so it’s always best to have an umbrella to hand. Humidity is also a prominent feature of the Crescent City’s climate. It is said to be the US city with the highest relative humidity and it's quite noticeable how muggy the city can get.
Summers in New Orleans, especially July and August, are hot and steamy. The humidity can be quite brutal and new arrivals will truly appreciate the value of having a good air-conditioning system during this season. Rainfall is common with tropical storms known to cause havoc in the city. The wet weather also gives rise to increased numbers of bugs and mosquitos so it's best to be armed with repellent at all times.
Winters, although relatively mild, can be unpredictable. One minute it can be overcast and fairly chilly and the next there will be bright sunshine. However, generally speaking, the months from December to February are cooler. Temperatures range from lows of 44°F(7°C) to average highs of 65°F(18°C). As mentioned, rain fall throughout the year, but in the winter this can turn to sleet, which isn’t particularly pleasant.
One weather hazard that new residents should be aware of when moving to New Orleans is hurricane season, which runs from June to November. When hurricanes occur in the city they bring with them high winds, tornados and severe flooding. The devastation that Hurricane Katrina wreaked in New Orleans is well documented, and resulted in virtually the whole city having to be reconstructed.
►Our What's On in New Orleans page gives you a list of NOLA's most notable annual festivals
Are you an expat living in New Orleans?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to New Orleans. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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