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How hot does it get in New Orleans?


How hot does it get in New Orleans? Pretty hot but can be comfortable in the shade as in this shot in the Garden District in deep summer.

How hot does it get in New Orleans? Well, I can say without any reservations, pretty damn hot. Well, here is the thing about New Orleans — you never can really tell what the weather is going to be like from day to day.

Just the other night we were sailing on the lake and the weather was real nice, in fact my little niece said that she was actually chilly, and that in the middle of the summer.

Me, I like the summer time especially at night. When I lived in Washington state for 16 years one of the things I missed most were balmy summer nights. You know, being able to sit in your shorts and such without having to worry about the chilly air.

There you had to wear a sweat shirt or something when the sun went down, maybe even a light sweater. Too bad. I remember a couple times there was a heat wave. A heat wave by northwest standards is 90 degrees for several days.

Heck, 90 degrees or more is standard summertime fare here in New Orleans. In fact, we can have day after day of 90 degree plus weather. During those “heat waves” in the Northwest I can remember those people walking around dragging and panting like they were in an oven. What wimpos, I thought. 90 degrees, ha! They don’t know what hot is. To me their 90 degrees, well, it felt good.

Now, make no mistake it gets hot here. Yes, very hot. But what’s nice is that once you get in the shade it actually feels kinda cooling. When the breeze blows it’s usually a cooling breeze. There are rare times when it gets really, really dry in the summer and it feels like being in the desert to the point where the breeze is not cooling at all but more like a hot oven. That spells no relief. But as I say it’s rare when this happens.

So what you can prepare for during the summer months are hot days, sometimes muggy days and nice comfortable balmy nights. At least they are comfortable for us. Maybe to someone who’s been raised in a colder climate might not find them comfortable.

Because we are prepared for it almost all places in New Orleans are air conditioned, so if you are walking along and you just can’t stand it well just step inside somewhere to cool off. But you will find that if you can be in the shade you will find the heat tolerable and almost comfortable.

Be prepared for this too: You will sweat, you will sweat just sitting and doing nothing. If you are a big sweater you might find yourself changing a couple times a day. Dress comfortably and with style, don’t let yourself go and dress like you are at the beach. Have some class. You can look good and be comfortable at the same time, no problem.

Some nice walking shoes or sandals, good looking shorts and a nice shirt and you can be just as comfortable without having to wear ratty old clothes. Don’t look like a tourist, people in New Orleans like to dress nice.

Sometimes you’ll see men dressed up in seersucker suits or poplin suits in the summer all decked out with a straw hat to complete the ensemble. Yes, they are sweating underneath but, heck, they look good. Same with the women when they wear some pretty nice fitting airy kind of dress, something linen or cotten. Hm hm hm. Nice.

It usually rains once a day July and August and if it rains in the afternoon it leaves the rest of the day feeling pretty nice. And then September comes and we started getting some cooler days. I like the summer but after a while the heat is like, “OK, stop, we’ve had enough.” Then it’s time for the fall to come with its nice weather and cool nights and cooler days.

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