New Orleans’ Weather In December: When Is The Best Time To Visit?

Spending your holidays in New Orleans seems to be a great idea. Indeed, the area boasts one of the most spectacular sights and festivals in the country. However, there are several factors to keep in mind for the best trip, notably the weather.

If you want to know when is the best time to visit New Orleans, today’s post is for you.

New Orleans’ Weather In December: What’s It Like?

In comparison to many different places around the country, the weather in New Orleans in December is relatively comfortable with an average high of 64°F (18°C) and an average low: 48°F (9°C).

The weather in New Orleans in December is pretty mild. - TripSavvy
The weather in New Orleans in December is pretty mild. – TripSavvy

Earlier December, midday temps are mainly in the high 60°F (around 20°C), with nightly low points around 50°F (10°C). As the day goes on, the temperatures could reach 74°F (23-24°C) at the highest.

As December goes, midday peaks could drop under 60°F (16-17°C), having a few afternoons falling into the 40°F (1-2°C), including 1 or 2 of them falling to 32°F (0°C) or below.

Given that the Atlantic hurricane period stops at late November, New Orleans has rainfall throughout ⅓ of December and accumulates above 4.5 inches estimated. Thus, the area is quite humid during this time.

On days when it isn’t rainy, you could experience an average of 5 – 6 hours of sunlight each day and usually cloudless sky. Thus, you’ll have more than enough chances to explore the beautiful destinations and dig into the diverse outdoor activities taking place throughout New Orleans during December.

What To Wear In New Orleans In December

In December, New Orleans’ temperature will start to drop (though it remains somewhat warmer than those higher Northern cities). However, it isn’t a problem to layer up and experience a few of the area’s fascinating outdoor sights. 

In December, you should avoid wearing shorts or T-shirts; instead, wear comfy trousers, decent running boots, wool socks, long-sleeved tops and additional coats (hoodies or winter fleece jackets), and a lightweight yet warm jacket.

It’s advisable to bring more clothes, yet not too thick ones. - Visit New Orleans
It’s advisable to bring more clothes, yet not too thick ones. – Visit New Orleans 

You won’t want a thick winter jacket, and winter boots aren’t required. However, extra warm clothing items like scarves or caps are an excellent option.

Also, pack something extra formal if you plan to try out one of the area’s most famous fine dining or head out to a fancy pub or nightclub for a night of partying.

Is December The Best Time To Visit New Orleans?

December is a lovely and cheerful month to explore New Orleans, as the area is dolled up in Christmas happiness from head to toe. Family’s festivities abound, from Teddy Bear Tea and Christmas at the Royal Sonesta to Celebration Under the Oaks, a showcase of lights in City Park.

Christmas in New Orleans provides breath-taking light displays. - Visit New Orleans
Christmas in New Orleans provides breath-taking light displays. – Visit New Orleans

However, your personal preferences determine the best time to visit New Orleans.

If you want to beat the crowds, get great accommodation bargains, and enjoy pleasant weather, December and January are the ideal months to go. 

Meanwhile, if you prefer to attend Mardi Gras, think about coming in February or March, but make your bookings many weeks or a year beforehand; otherwise, the hotels will run out of room.

Want more travel recommendations? Check out other amazing findings:

New Orleans’ Weather By Season: What To Do In Each Season

Spring

Spring is the busiest tourism time in New Orleans, which is understandable considering the nice weather and packed schedule. 

Springtime is the peak season owing to the nice weather and famous Madigras festival. - Fodors Travel Guide
Springtime is the peak season owing to the nice weather and famous Madigras festival. – Fodors Travel Guide

You should reserve your lodgings early—up to 12 months beforehand if you plan to come around Mardi Gras—and be prepared for lineups at eateries and other renowned locations.

Festivals to explore:

  • The Mardi Gras festival lasts through March; however, the official date changes from year to year. Locals and visitors worldwide crowd the main roads to watch marches and collect the iconic beads.
  • The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival takes place during the final weekend of April and the opening weekend of May. During the festival, local bands and internationally recognized performers come together and deliver beautiful music.

Summer

Summertime might be sunny and scorching, but if you want to escape the peak season and possibly save some money, a summer trip isn’t a poor plan.

The sunniest period starts from July, with an average temperature of 91°C, while June and September are pretty warm. If you cannot tolerate extreme heat, New Orleans’ weather in August isn’t for you. 

Go 4th is a famous festival in New Orleans in summer. - NOLA
Go 4th is a famous festival in New Orleans in summer. – NOLA

Yet, the tourists are fewer, and you’ll spend less on lodging than you would in most months. Thus, consider a summer visit if you’re on a budget and truly love to explore the area.

Festivals to explore:

  • On the 4th of July, New Orleans stages Go 4th on the Mississippi River, a firework display launched from boats.
  • The Essence Music Festival, hosted in July, features concerts by many of the most famous R&B and hip-hop superstars.

Fall

Although the weather in autumn is still hot and sunny, the area is pretty comforting, especially New Orleans’ weather in October. Although there aren’t as many thrilling activities as in winter or spring, it’s an excellent season to come owing to fewer visitors and affordable accommodation costs.

The Voodoo Music and Arts Experience is pretty famous among the young. - Visit New Orleans
The Voodoo Music and Arts Experience is pretty famous among the young. – Visit New Orleans

Festivals to explore:

  • In October, the New Orleans Film Festival, one of the country’s top cinematic events, occurs.
  • The Voodoo Music and Arts Experience take place at the end of October. Thousands of artists will participate in the festival, featuring many of the top stars in musical performances.

Winter

Winter is an excellent time to explore New Orleans. The weather is relatively comfortable, with average highs are approximately 60°F, and affordable accommodation options are available. However, if you prefer a warmer setting, New Orleans’ weather in January is perfect – it’s not too cold or too hot!

Additionally, if you travel during the festive season, you’ll be able to see the city decked out in Christmas decorations.

Festivals to explore:

  • Celebration in the Oaks is a New Orleans Christmas tradition. Every Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the area puts out one of the most outstanding Christmas light displays on the globe.
  • Don’t skip Bonfires On The Levee on Christmas Eve. The Cajun ritual involves setting flames on riversides to brighten the road for “Papa Noel,” the Cajun equivalent of Santa Claus.

Wrapping Up

Although New Orleans’ weather in December isn’t the most favorable, it’s still a great option given the lower accommodation cost and fewer tourists. Thus, consider a visit if you’re on a budget yet really want to explore the area. 

For more traveling advice, refer to our Traveling homepage. We have everything you need, from the weather in Puerto Rico to info about the city where the sun don’t set.

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