New Orleans has sub-tropical weather almost 12 months a year. So what does that mean? It means that it’s hot and humid and there is the potential for rain all year long. Planning your event in New Orleans may seem like a shot in the dark weather wise for those not from the area, but there are certainly better times of year to plan than others. New Orleans doesn’t have the traditional seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. We have crab, crawfish, shrimp and oyster seasons or even better we have Mardi Gras, Jazz fest, Saints Football and “The Holidays” (Halloween through Christmas)
Artwork done by Jason Sayatovic for http://www.crawfishking.com
Let’s start with the times of year that are not recommended when planning your event and then move on to the best times of the year!
From June 1st until November 30th is hurricane season along the Gulf Coast. That means a tropical disturbance can pop up at any time. You can definitely book during this season but make sure you have event insurance in case you have to cancel due to a storm. A local event planner can make sure you have a rain plan and a cancellation policy in place for Acts of God (which your insurance company calls a storm). So, make sure you get all that information before signing a contract.
Photo from: http://www.redditphotography.com/
August in New Orleans? Ugh…. Along with some of July and September it is the absolute hottest month in New Orleans. Not only do we reach temperatures close to 100 degrees, but the humidity is reminiscent of walking through gumbo (that’s a thick soup to those not from here). Even if your event is inside during August, getting from point A to point B can lead to melting make-up and wilting hair. Your clothes will get moist and wrinkled too. If you are not used to the heat and very, very high humidity you may want to second guess an August party in New Orleans.
Carnival Season (or Mardi Gras) can be a very exciting time in the city, but remember it’s also one of the busiest. Since the date changes every year in connection with Easter, it’s always best to check the calendar before picking your date. The weather can be absolutely lovely, but if Mardi Gras falls early in the year (like the beginning of February) the weather can be very cold and wet.
Photo from: Blaineharrington.com
So when is the best season in New Orleans? There are two, Fall and Early Spring. Fall doesn’t really hit New Orleans until October and there are sometimes days that are still in the 90s as late as November. The average temperatures are in the 60s and 70s though in both Fall and Spring and the humidity is at it’s lowest. There is still a chance for rain. Well, there is always a chance for rain here no matter what the season is, but the chances are much lower.
So to recap, the worst times? June through September. Better time: October through May. My final piece of advice is when in doubt, call a local!
Tell us your favorite season in New Orleans!