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We are experiencing the coldest damn weather since we moved here to New Orleans ten years ago. In fact it may break records going back much further than that.

Our new house is raised and has no subfloor. I’d been told a cold wind can whip under the floor something fierce, and sure enough over the last month I thought it was somewhat chilly. But this morning it was virtually unbearable. Lucky we have an upstairs. I think we may have to live up there for the next day or two.

It was cold enough I decided not to take the girl on the bike this morning. Instead, I bundled her up and put her in the stroller. After dropping her off at daycare I walked to work. I saw ice on the street in three places. The first time it didn’t even register as unusual. But the second time I started wondering, when’s the last time I saw natural ice here in New Orleans? I can’t remember.

Sometimes we get through a whole winter without a hard freeze here. The temperature may dip down and flirt with freezing briefly, but that’s not enough to produce ice. Hard freezes require several hours below freezing. We’ve had a number of those over our decade here, but I can’t remember the last time it was still below freezing at 10:30 AM.

This cold snap comes on the heels of the wettest month in the recorded history of the city. I’ve had enough extreme weather to last me a while.

(Oh, by the way, I lived up by the arctic circle for a year. I know what “real” cold is. Are you familiar with -30ºF? I am. But I also know at some point it’s just too damn cold, and we have reached that point.)

Published inNew OrleansWeather & Seasons


  1. toneknee toneknee

    I’m familiar with what it feels like in the teens when I lived in New York briefly sometime ago but I can’t imagine living in -30degF weather. By the way it’s actually warmer here in the Pacific Northwest. Current outside temperature is 46degF.

  2. Jack Schick Jack Schick

    I have looked out the window and seen -42 in SoDak one night,
    and have played outside in -30…for about 20 minutes at a stretch,
    interspersed with hot-choc breaks. I will take those conditions in SoDak
    over the Washington Flooded-out roads and re-frozen mud over the top of the
    underground stream of slush referred to as a “road”….deadly hypothermia
    on top of miserable depressing mirk.

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