Does It Snow In New Orleans – Snowfall Information

Does It Snow In New Orleans

New Orleans is famous for its Mardi Gras celebrations, cultural diversity, and vibrant music scene. However, when it comes to snowfall, the city is not as famous. Many people wonder, “Does it snow in New Orleans?” In this section, we will provide comprehensive information about snowfall in New Orleans, including historical data and climatic conditions.

Key Takeaways

  • New Orleans is not known for snowfall, but occasionally experiences snow events.
  • The city’s average annual snowfall is minimal, ranging from a trace amount to less than an inch.
  • Snowfall in New Orleans is more common in January and February, but still rare.
  • The city’s location and climatic conditions make snowfall unlikely but not impossible.
  • Despite the rarity of snow in New Orleans, winter activities and attractions are available for visitors to enjoy.

New Orleans Weather Overview

New Orleans experiences a humid subtropical climate, which means hot and humid summers and mild winters.

The winter season in New Orleans typically lasts from December to February, with the average temperature ranging from 45-65°F (7-18°C). January is the coldest month, with an average low temperature of 43°F (6°C).

During the winter season, New Orleans experiences occasional cold snaps, and temperatures can drop to below freezing. However, these cold periods are usually short-lived, with the average low temperature being above freezing.

The climate of New Orleans is influenced by its location in the southern United States, with milder temperatures compared to northern regions. This makes it an attractive destination for those seeking a warmer winter season.

Snowfall Patterns in New Orleans

New Orleans is known for its warm, humid climate, but snowfall is not entirely uncommon in the city. On average, New Orleans receives approximately 0.2 inches of snow per year, with the annual average snowfall being less than 1 inch. However, in some years, the snowfall can be as high as 5 inches, with the snowiest month being January.

Snow Accumulation in New Orleans

While snow in New Orleans is infrequent, it can still have a significant impact on the city. Due to the city’s lack of resources for snow removal and de-icing, even a small amount of snow can result in dangerous driving conditions and property damage. Additionally, snow accumulation can affect the city’s power grid, causing power outages and disrupting daily life.

Factors Affecting Snowfall in New Orleans

The likelihood of snowfall in New Orleans is influenced by several factors. The city’s location in the southern United States means that it generally experiences milder winters compared to northern regions. However, cold air masses from the north can occasionally cause temperatures to drop below freezing, resulting in snowfall. Additionally, precipitation patterns and atmospheric conditions such as humidity and wind can impact snowfall amounts in the city.

Historical Snowfall in New Orleans

When it comes to snowfall, New Orleans is not known for significant amounts of snowfall. However, snow still falls in the city on rare occasions, and these events are historic.

How Much Does It Snow in New Orleans?

The annual average snowfall in New Orleans is around a trace amount, meaning that the snowfall is so light that it’s sometimes not even measurable. For statistical purposes, the National Weather Service considers a trace to be less than 0.2 inches of snowfall.

Notable Snowfall Events

The last notable snowfall event in New Orleans occurred on December 11, 2008, when the city received 1.1 inches of snowfall. Before that, the city had not seen a snowfall accumulation of more than 1 inch since December 22, 1989.

While these events may seem infrequent, they are nonetheless significant for New Orleans residents. When snow does fall, it can be a welcome and exciting surprise for those who live in the city and an opportunity to enjoy a unique winter experience.

Climatic Conditions for Snow in New Orleans

New Orleans is a southern city with a humid subtropical climate. Typically, the winter season runs from December to February, and during this time, the city experiences the coldest temperatures of the year. Even though the temperatures can drop below freezing, it is still relatively rare to get snow in New Orleans.

The reason behind this lies in the city’s geographical location. While New Orleans is located in the southern region of the United States, it is not situated near the Gulf of Mexico. This means that the city does not experience the same amount of moisture and precipitation that is seen in the southern regions along the Gulf Coast. Instead, New Orleans is influenced more by the northern parts of the country, which typically do not see as much snowfall as the southern regions.

Possibility of Snow

Despite New Orleans’ geographical location, it is not impossible for the city to get snow. However, for snowfall to occur, there must be a unique weather pattern in place. This involves a strong low-pressure system moving across the southern United States, which allows colder air from the north to move into the region. This colder air then interacts with the warmer air from the Gulf of Mexico, creating a situation where snow can fall in the city.

It should be noted that even when these conditions are present, it is still difficult for snow to stick and accumulate on the ground in New Orleans. The city’s surface temperatures are usually too warm, preventing the snow from settling and sticking. As such, even if it does snow in New Orleans, it is likely to be a brief and relatively light snowfall.

New Orleans Snowfall Compared to Northern Regions

While New Orleans does occasionally get snow, it’s not quite on the same level as other regions in the United States that get snow regularly. When it comes to which regions get snow, it all depends on where you are in the country.

Regions That Get Snow

Regions in the northern part of the US, especially those closer to the Canadian border, typically get more snow than New Orleans. For example, cities like Minneapolis and Buffalo can experience snowfall as early as October, and it can even last until April.

How Cold Does It Get?

The colder the region, the more likely it is to get snow. The regions that get the most snow often have the coldest temperatures as well. For example, Fairbanks, Alaska, is known for its extremely cold winters and can get over 60 inches of snow per year. Meanwhile, NYC seasons are marked with no arctic cold blasts.

Comparing Snowfall Amounts

On average, New Orleans gets less than an inch of snow per year, while regions like Buffalo can get over 90 inches in a season. Cities like Chicago and Detroit also average around 40-50 inches of snow per year. So while New Orleans does experience occasional snowfall, it’s not comparable to the amounts seen in other regions.

How Cold Is It?

The colder the region, the more likely it is to get snow. The regions that get the most snow often have the coldest temperatures as well. For example, Fairbanks, Alaska, is known for its extremely cold winters and can get over 60 inches of snow per year. Meanwhile, NYC seasons are marked with no arctic cold blasts.

Winter Activities in New Orleans

Although New Orleans is not known for heavy snowfall, it still offers a variety of winter activities for visitors and locals alike. The city has a unique winter season, with mild temperatures and occasional snowfall, making it a perfect place to enjoy winter activities without freezing temperatures.

Snow Activities

When snow does fall in New Orleans, the city transforms into a winter wonderland. From snowball fights to building snowmen, there are plenty of snow activities to enjoy. The Audubon Zoo and Aquarium transform into a “Winter Wonderland” with snowball fights and icy slides. The Louisiana Children’s Museum also offers snow-themed activities during winter.

Winter Festivals

New Orleans is well-known for its music and culture, and winter is no exception. The city hosts many winter festivals during the holiday season. Christmas New Orleans Style is a month-long festival featuring concerts, holiday home tours, and a “Reindeer Run” 5K race. Additionally, the NOLA ChristmasFest takes over the New Orleans Convention Center with ice skating, holiday-themed inflatables, and more.

If you’re looking for a unique winter experience, New Orleans has plenty to offer. From snow activities to winter festivals, the city embraces the winter season with its own special charm.


In conclusion, it is clear that snowfall in New Orleans is a rare occurrence. Despite this, the city experiences occasional snowfall, adding a unique touch to its winter season. The average annual snowfall in New Orleans is only 0.2 inches, which is significantly lower than many other regions of the United States. The climatic conditions required for snow in New Orleans are unusual, making snowfall a relatively uncommon event.

However, when snow does fall in New Orleans, it is a significant event that brings the city together. Winter activities and festivals are held, providing entertainment for residents and visitors alike. Although New Orleans may not be known for its winter weather, the city embraces the season with enthusiasm and creativity.

Overall, while New Orleans may not be the first choice for those seeking a winter wonderland, the city’s occasional snowfall and unique winter activities make it a must-visit destination during the winter season.

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