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What is the Weather Like in New Orleans During May?

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This post is a summary of the New Orleans weather in May, with tips on what to pack and things to do (updated for 2020). May is the transition month from the warm but comfortable spring weather to the more humid summer weather. 


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Early in the month, the weather is most comfortable with early morning lows mostly in the mid to upper 60s F (18-21 C) with afternoon high temperatures mostly in the lower 80s F (27-28 C).


Average Temperatures in May in New Orleans


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). 


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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.


Does it Rain in May in New Orleans

The risk for 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.


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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!


What to Wear in May in New Orleans


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.


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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.


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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!


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About The Author

Fred Pickhardt

Fred is a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade. He has extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, and forensic weather event reconstructions. Fred founded Ocean Weather Services and currently provides forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
Updated: September 27th, 2021
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