The best time to visit New Orleans, LA, is in the spring months, from March to May. This time of year offers warm temperatures and cooler weather than in the hot summer months, and the city is lively with different celebrations.
New Orleans is on the Gulf Coast, giving it a humid subtropical climate. Summers are hot and sticky with the threat of hurricanes that continue into the early fall. Winters are mild, especially for visitors coming from destinations further north. The winter months also fall within the low season, so you’ll have better deals on hotels.
Louisiana’s top tourist destination is a vibrant city to visit year-round. But choosing the ideal time to visit can help to make your trip incredible. Decide when to go to New Orleans with this complete weather guide by season and by month.
Weather in New Orleans
New Orleans is buzzing in the spring, with major events like Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival pulling in the crowds. Spring is also crawfish season, so you’ll likely be feasting on it endlessly at boils and festivals throughout the city.
High season brings hotels to full occupancy. If you visit during the spring, you should book in advance to get the best deals. Some of the top attractions in New Orleans close during Mardi Gras. If you plan on sightseeing or aren’t a fan of crowded places, this may not be the ideal time for you to travel here.
New Orleans has beautiful weather in the spring. Temperatures are pleasant, and the oppressive heat of the summer hasn’t set in yet.
While you can never guarantee dry conditions in New Orleans, the spring offers slightly drier days. The iconic colors of the city become even more impressive, thanks to the hundreds of flowers in bloom.
Most people choose to avoid the summer when planning their New Orleans itinerary. Temperatures soar, and the high humidity can make the heat unbearable. New Orleans is a walkable city where you’ll want to spend most of your time outside. But summer will have you running for the air conditioning. Pack a sweater to cope with the arctic-like indoor temperatures.
Summer is the wettest time of year in New Orleans. Light waterproof clothing and an umbrella are must-haves. Summer also marks the start of the Gulf Coast’s hurricane season, so having adequate insurance to cover your trip is essential.
The wet weather in summer brings the bugs out in force, too. Don’t forget to bring mosquito spray and cover up as much as possible when outdoors.
Despite the sticky weather, summer is a good time to visit New Orleans if you’re on a budget. Hotel rates are low, and you’ll get much better value for your money at the top-rated places to stay in New Orleans.
Restaurants are also prepared for the low season, giving you fixed-priced deals to keep up business. If you can cope with the heat, you’ll find the streets are quiet, and you’ll have unobstructed views of New Orleans’ stunning architecture.
The start of fall is the peak of hurricane season in New Orleans. This may be a time to book last minute if you want to avoid bad weather throwing a wrench into your travel plans.
As the heat and humidity begin to drop, the tourists and parties flood back into the city. You’ll spend your days making the most of the city’s outdoor activities while enjoying warm and comfortable temperatures. Evenings can get a little cooler, so pack some extra layers for your nights out on the town.
Deep red and soft yellow foliage set the perfect tone for a fall vacation. With fun cultural events taking place throughout the season, fall is the second-best time to visit New Orleans. Food festivals, concerts, and parades will give a unique touch to your trip.
As one of the most haunted places in the United States, being in New Orleans for spooky season offers the perfect atmosphere, too.
Winter in New Orleans is cooler, and the weather can be unpredictable. While it’s not as chilly as other places in the country, you’ll need to wear lots of layers and a jacket to adapt to the changeable temperatures. There’s also a chance of a cold snap, so pack a thicker coat just in case.
If a warm vacation isn’t a priority for you, winter is a pleasant time to get out and explore the city. You won’t need to contend with the heat of the summer or the crowds of the spring. Winter is also the driest season in New Orleans, so the rain is less likely to put a dampener on your plans.
Winter isn’t a popular time for most tourists, so you’ll have your choice of the best hotels in New Orleans. The cost of flights, accommodation, and activities are at their lowest. Stroll along uncrowded streets full of twinkling holiday decorations.
January is the coldest month of the year in New Orleans, with highs of 62°F (17°C) and lows of 48°F (9°C). Rainfall begins to increase, rising from 4.5 inches to 4.8 inches by the end of the month.
If you’re in town for New Year’s, make sure to catch the Sugar Bowl. The annual playoffs have every sports bar in the city packed out.
January 6th is Three Kings Day, the official start of Mardi Gras season. Christmas trees are transformed into Mardi Gras trees, and a Joan of Arc parade takes place in the French Quarter.
With Mardi Gras usually falling somewhere between February and March, the parties ramp up throughout the month of February. This is the most vibrant time of the year to be in New Orleans, with colorful costumes, huge parades, and masquerade balls. If you want to visit during this time, you’ll need to book the essentials months in advance.
February is also Lunar New Year. The city has a three-day celebration with traditional Vietnamese food, dances, and fireworks.
Temperatures in February rise slightly, with highs of 70°F (21°C) and lows of 48°F (9°C). You’ll still need to wrap up warm, especially if you want to enjoy all the outdoor festivals.
Mardi Gras celebrations can continue into the start of March before other festivals and events start to take over. From the French Film Festival to the New Orleans Book Festival, the month of March is full of cultural delights. Mixologists will love the New Orleans Bourbon Festival, where you can attend tastings, dinners, and 1920s shows.
Daily highs in March reach a pleasant 76°F (24°C), making this the perfect time to be outside. Rainfall increases throughout the month, finishing at an average of 4.9 inches. In March, New Orleans is in bloom, with flowers beginning to pop up along the pretty streets and parks.
April is a month of music for the birthplace of jazz. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival brings in thousands of people to celebrate music and culture. Also on offer in the month of April is the French Quarter Festival, a free music festival in the historic French Quarter.
The New Orleans weather in April is ideal for getting out and exploring the city. Highs sit at 82°F (28°C), while daily lows are around 67°F (19°C).
The mornings in April can be chilly, so wrap up and get exploring before the heat of the day sets in. Rainfall in April decreases, dropping to 4.3 inches by the end of the month.
May is a gorgeous time to be in Louisian’s largest city and explore its surrounding nature on popular New Orleans day trips. Bayou and plantation tours will transport you from the heart of the city to tropical jungles.
Temperatures are ramping up, with daily highs reaching 89°F (32°C) and average lows at just 74°F (23°C). Humidity rises rapidly, reaching 74% by the end of the month. The nights remain warm, so you’ll be indulging in plenty of long dinners and drinks al fresco.
Be sure not to miss the Bayou Boogaloo. This three-day waterside event features music, delicious food, and stunning artwork.
June is the start of hurricane season in New Orleans. It’s usually the wettest month, with average rainfall reaching 5.6 inches by the end of the month. With daily highs at 92°F (33°C) and humid days reaching 98%, June is a hot and muggy time to be in the city.
As well as Pride Week celebrations, some great food festivals take place in June. The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience gives you access to opulent dinners, tastings, and workshops throughout the city. The French Market Creole Tomato Festival celebrates produce, farmers, and cuisine with fun and quirky traditions.
July is one of the hottest months of the year in New Orleans, with average daily highs of 92°F (33°C) and lows of 78°F (26°C). It’s also the most humid, with muggy conditions 98% of the time. The humidity doesn’t let up in the evenings, so you’ll need lots of light and cool clothing.
Despite the heat, the New Orleans festivals don’t let up in July. Enjoy black music and culture at ESSENCE Fest, one of the city’s biggest festivals. Or attend the annual Running of the Bulls. Instead of angry Spanish bulls, participants are chased by the Big Easy Roller Derby Girls.
August remains hot and unpleasant in New Orleans. Daily highs remain at 91°F (33°C), but the number of humid days drops to 92% by the end of the month. August is the cheapest time of the year to visit, with many tourists scared away by the heat and the threat of hurricanes. There’s a high chance that thunderstorms could disrupt your plans.
Embrace summer clothing at White Linen Night. On the first Saturday in August, attendees are invited to wear their best white clothing for a night exploring the art, food, and music of the Arts and Warehouse District.
As much of the country cools down in September, New Orleans is still enjoying hot days and summer fun. Daily highs are around 90°F (32°C), but the number of humid days drops to 53% by the end of the month. There’s still a threat of hurricanes during this time; keep an eye on the weather forecast in the lead-up to your trip.
September is a great month for celebrating the diverse cultures that have made their home in the city. Enjoy Irish food, music, and culture at Irish Fest, and fabulous food and shopping during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Temperatures in New Orleans drop in October, with daily highs of 76°F (24°c) and lows of 62°F (17°C). This makes this month a relaxed and pleasant time to enjoy all of the fall activities in the city. October is also the month with the lowest rainfall, averaging around 3.4 inches throughout.
New Orleans is one of the best places in the country to celebrate Halloween. Take a ghost tour through the historic French Quarter, explore the spooky cemeteries, and visit the voodoo shops to learn more about the history of these ancient spiritual traditions. The Voodoo Music and Arts Experience features big-name headline acts, culinary experiences, and immersive art installations.
November is a quieter month in New Orleans compared to the hustle and bustle of October. Winter starts to creep in, and preparations ramp up for the holidays. Average daily highs drop to 69°F (21°C), and lows fall to 54°F (12°C). November is a good month to make the most of the lower crowds and cheaper hotel deals.
Despite the reduced number of tourists, some great events still take place in the month of November. Embrace Caribbean culture at Bayou Bacchanal. A big parade, tasty food, and traditional music represent multiple Caribbean nations.
While it may not be your typical winter wonderland, New Orleans is a magical place to be in December, with pretty decorations lighting up the historic city. Enjoy the unique Bonfires on the Levee. The centuries-old tradition lights up bonfires all the way along the Mississippi River.
December weather can be unpredictable in New Orleans. You could wake up to warm days and sunshine, or you could be wrapping up in your winter coats. Average daily highs are 68°F (20°C), while lows drop to 48°F (9°C).