This post is a summary of the New Orleans weather in May, with tips on what to pack and things to do (updated for 2023).
May is the transition month from the warm but comfortable spring weather to the more humid summer weather.
- Average Temperatures
- How Much Sun/Rain
- What to Wear
- Things to Do in May
- Seasonal Weather Outlook
- Weather Averages by Month
- Free Tours by Foot
AVERAGE MAY TEMPERATURES
Early in the month, the weather is most comfortable with early morning lows mostly in the mid to upper 60s F (18-21 C).
Afternoon high temperatures are mostly in the lower 80s F (27-28 C).
As the month progresses, the afternoon highs are mostly in the mid to upper 80s F (30-31 C) with about 4 days this month reaching or exceeding 90 F (32 C).
Generally speaking, May is a great time to explore the city on foot with one of our free walking tours.
During past Mays, New Orleans has seen extremes as high as 96 F (36 C) to a low of 41 F (5 C).
DOES IT RAIN MUCH IN MAY?
About 20 days this month will normally see sunny or at least partly sunny skies so this is a great time to explore the city.
Only about 7 days see any rainfall with 3 of these recording 1/2 inches (13mm) or more.
The risk of encountering a thunderstorm on any particular day this month will increase from less than 10% early in the month to about 20-25% by the end of the month.
Seasonal Weather Outlooks for New Orleans - April to June 2023 New Orleans
There is an 88% chance for normal to above normal temperatures with a 77% chance for normal or below normal rainfall.
WHAT TO WEAR IN MAY IN NEW ORLEANS
It will be warm and somewhat humid so short sleeves and other summer clothes will do for most days this month.
Since most of the days are sunny, we recommend bringing a hat - and since the Kentucky Derby is in May, you can have fun with this one!
For the few rainy days and for the brief thunderstorms you should bring your umbrella or a plastic poncho.
And don't forget a good pair of walking shoes to see all the sights.
WHAT TO DO IN MAY IN NEW ORLEANS
There are lots of great things to do this May. Below we list the highlights.
For many more things to do this month, read our full post for May activities as well as our master post on things to do in NOLA any time of year.
For tips on the most popular activities in New Orleans, check out our ghost, swamp, plantation, and riverboat tour posts.
Many of these items are included for free with the purchase of a tourist attraction discount pass.
- Experience JazzFest
- Go to a concert or music festival
- See a classic musical like Fiddler on the Roof
- Catch a baseball game
- Take a free walking tour
- Explore a nearby plantation like Oak Alley or Whitney
- Attend a live taping of "The Bachelor"
- Hold a baby alligator on a swamp tour
- Laugh at George Lopez's Stand-Up comedy
- Enjoy Jammin’ on Julia
- and much more!
Read our full post for May activities for even more great things to do this month.
We list free activities, things to do with kids, and suggestions for how to spend an evening out in the Big Easy!