Climate and Average Weather Year Round in New Orleans Louisiana, United States
In New Orleans, the summers are long, hot, and oppressive; the winters are short, cool, and windy; and it is wet and partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 47°F to 92°F and is rarely below 35°F or above 97°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best times of year to visit New Orleans for warm-weather activities are from late March to mid May and from late September to mid November.
Climate in New Orleans
The hot season lasts for 4.1 months, from May 19 to September 22, with an average daily high temperature above 87°F. The hottest month of the year in New Orleans is July, with an average high of 92°F and low of 78°F.
The cool season lasts for 2.8 months, from November 29 to February 24, with an average daily high temperature below 69°F. The coldest month of the year in New Orleans is January, with an average low of 48°F and high of 63°F.
Average High and Low Temperature in New Orleans
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature in New Orleans
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
In New Orleans, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in New Orleans begins around September 12 and lasts for 9.1 months, ending around June 16.
The clearest month of the year in New Orleans is October, during which on average the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 65% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around June 16 and lasts for 2.9 months, ending around September 12.
The cloudiest month of the year in New Orleans is July, during which on average the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 58% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories in New Orleans
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in New Orleans varies significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 3.3 months, from June 2 to September 12, with a greater than 40% chance of a given day being a wet day. The month with the most wet days in New Orleans is July, with an average of 17.8 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
The drier season lasts 8.7 months, from September 12 to June 2. The month with the fewest wet days in New Orleans is October, with an average of 7.0 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. The month with the most days of rain alone in New Orleans is July, with an average of 17.8 days. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 60% on July 29.
Daily Chance of Precipitation in New Orleans
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. New Orleans experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in New Orleans. The month with the most rain in New Orleans is July, with an average rainfall of 5.4 inches.
The month with the least rain in New Orleans is October, with an average rainfall of 3.3 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall in New Orleans
The length of the day in New Orleans varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2023, the shortest day is December 21, with 10 hours, 13 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 14 hours, 5 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight in New Orleans
The earliest sunrise is at 5:58 AM on June 11, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 18 minutes later at 7:16 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 5:00 PM on December 2, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 5 minutes later at 8:05 PM on June 30.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in New Orleans during 2023, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in New Orleans
The figure below presents a compact representation of the sun's elevation (the angle of the sun above the horizon) and azimuth (its compass bearing) for every hour of every day in the reporting period. The horizontal axis is the day of the year and the vertical axis is the hour of the day. For a given day and hour of that day, the background color indicates the azimuth of the sun at that moment. The black isolines are contours of constant solar elevation.
Solar Elevation and Azimuth in New Orleans
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2023. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases.
Moon Rise, Set & Phases in New Orleans
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
New Orleans experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 5.7 months, from April 29 to October 20, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 28% of the time. The month with the most muggy days in New Orleans is July, with 30.1 days that are muggy or worse.
The month with the fewest muggy days in New Orleans is January, with 1.6 days that are muggy or worse.
Humidity Comfort Levels in New Orleans
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in New Orleans experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 8.0 months, from September 23 to May 23, with average wind speeds of more than 8.9 miles per hour. The windiest month of the year in New Orleans is March, with an average hourly wind speed of 10.8 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 4.0 months, from May 23 to September 23. The calmest month of the year in New Orleans is August, with an average hourly wind speed of 7.2 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed in New Orleans
The predominant average hourly wind direction in New Orleans varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 4.7 months, from February 23 to July 15 and for 6.0 days, from August 16 to August 22, with a peak percentage of 50% on June 2. The wind is most often from the east for 2.9 months, from August 22 to November 18, with a peak percentage of 44% on September 20. The wind is most often from the north for 3.2 months, from November 18 to February 23, with a peak percentage of 37% on January 1.
Wind Direction in New Orleans
New Orleans is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.
The average water temperature experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The time of year with warmer water lasts for 3.9 months, from May 28 to September 26, with an average temperature above 80°F. The month of the year in New Orleans with the warmest water is August, with an average temperature of 85°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 3.4 months, from December 7 to March 20, with an average temperature below 65°F. The month of the year in New Orleans with the coolest water is February, with an average temperature of 60°F.
Average Water Temperature in New Orleans
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in New Orleans throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best times of year to visit New Orleans for general outdoor tourist activities are from late March to mid May and from late September to mid November, with a peak score in the last week of April.
Tourism Score in New Orleans
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best times of year to visit New Orleans for hot-weather activities are from early May to mid June and from early September to early October, with a peak score in the third week of May.
Beach/Pool Score in New Orleans
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
While it does not do so every year, freezing temperatures are seen in New Orleans over some winters. The day least likely to be in the growing season is January 10, with a 53% chance.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in New Orleans
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in New Orleans should appear around January 13, only rarely appearing before January 8 or after January 24.
Growing Degree Days in New Orleans
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 2.7 months, from April 1 to June 22, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.9 kWh. The brightest month of the year in New Orleans is May, with an average of 6.5 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 2.5 months, from November 16 to February 2, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.7 kWh. The darkest month of the year in New Orleans is December, with an average of 3.1 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in New Orleans
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of New Orleans are 29.955 deg latitude, -90.075 deg longitude, and 3 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of New Orleans is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 13 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 5 feet. Within 10 miles is essentially flat (827 feet). Within 50 miles also contains very significant variations in elevation (827 feet).
The area within 2 miles of New Orleans is covered by artificial surfaces (84%), within 10 miles by artificial surfaces (45%) and herbaceous vegetation (29%), and within 50 miles by herbaceous vegetation (52%) and water (32%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in New Orleans, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 2 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in New Orleans.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and New Orleans according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at New Orleans is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between New Orleans and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are:
To get a sense of how much these sources agree with each other, you can view a comparison of New Orleans and the stations that contribute to our estimates of its temperature history and climate. Please note that each source's contribution is adjusted for elevation and the relative change present in the MERRA-2 data.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © OpenStreetMap contributors.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.
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