Louisiana’s Coldest Christmas, Is This It?
The State of Louisiana and cold weather aren't often mentioned in the same sentence but when they are, you can bet the weather is the topic of conversation from Lake Arthur to Lake Claiborne to Lake Ponchartrain. And if you get that cold weather around Christmas Day, such as what we're experiencing right now, you'll also get a few "I remember one Christmas it was so cold..." stories too.
Is This Louisiana's Coldest Christmas Ever?
In a word, No. In fact, it won't be the coldest Christmas by a long shot. And just for clarity we're not just focusing on December 25th, we're taking the days in and around December 25th into consideration for our discussion.
The coldest Christmas temperature in recent memory will take us back to 1983. I guess almost 40 years can be considered recent memory, right? The temperature on Christmas Day in New Orleans was 14 degrees in the morning and it only warmed up to 27 degrees by the afternoon. And yes, pipes were busting all over NOLA and much of Louisiana on that day.
As far as we can determine, this was Louisiana's coldest Christmas Day. Now, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Louisiana didn't happen in December, that happened in February of 1899. On that date, a weather reporter in Minden Louisiana recorded a temperature of minus 16 degrees. If you're not familiar with where Minden is, it's in North Louisiana but minus 16 is dang cold for any day of the year.
Has South Louisiana Ever had a White Christmas?
The answer to that one is a resounding yes, even for cities in South Louisiana along the I-10 corridor. In fact, in 1989 temperatures were again in the teens in the days leading up to December 25th. There was snow on the ground over a large part of the state. New Orleans even recorded half an inch of snow on December 22 and 23rd.
But the most recent brush with a " White Christmas" was in 2004. What made this "odd" from a meteorological point of view was that the band of snow on Christmas Day was confined to the coast. You see a low-pressure system formed in the Gulf of Mexico and kicked up enough moisture to create a small band of snow that stretched from as far south as Corpus Christi Texas through Houston, Lake Charles, parts of Acadiana, and onto New Orleans.
Of course, we've had a few other snow days in Acadiana since then, they just haven't happened on Christmas Day. Y'all remember Lundi Gras in 2021? Eric Breaux captured this footage and shared it on his YouTube Channel.
What About Christmas with the A/C On?
Despite what we have been conditioned to think, most of the time Louisiana temperatures around Christmas Day are in the mid to low 60-degree range. However, in 1982 we celebrated Santa in our shorts and t-shirts as the high temperatures on Christmas Day reached into the low 80s.
As far as the frigid temperatures of 2022 they'll only be with us through Christmas Day this year. In fact, by New Year's Eve afternoon, high temperatures could return to the lower 70s. It's no wonder we've all got sniffles and sinus issues, right?
Regardless of what the thermometer outside your window says, we hope you have a very happy holiday season and Merry Christmas, stay warm and stay off the naughty list.
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