When is hurricane season in New Orleans in 2022?

The hurricane season in New Orleans runs from early June through late November each year, with peak hurricane activity occurring in late August and early September.

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Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor and licensed home insurance agent at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

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The Atlantic hurricane season is June 1 to November 30 each year, but New Orleans and other Gulf Coast areas typically see the most tropical storm activity in late summer through early fall. As of June 2, researchers at Colorado State University are predicting a “well above-average” hurricane season, with a 65% chance of at least one major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean, and a 26% chance of one hitting the Louisiana coast. [1]

Of the 301 hurricanes that have hit the United States since 1851 according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 62 have hit Louisiana — the third most of any state in the more than 170 years of NOAA recordkeeping. [2] Considering much of the wetlands south of New Orleans are starting to disappear due to flooding and rising sea levels, it’s important for NOLA homeowners to ensure they’re well prepared for hurricane season.

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What month does New Orleans have the most hurricanes?

While New Orleans can experience a hurricane at any point during the season’s six-month window, these storms are most frequent from August through early October. In fact, three of the worst hurricanes in Louisiana state history — Katrina, Zeta, and Ida — hit the Louisiana coast during these months, bringing with them heavy wind and flood damage.

Hurricane Katrina, one of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history, made landfall just east of New Orleans on August 29, 2005, putting 80% of the city underwater and killing around 1,000 Louisiana residents. Exactly 16 years to the day, Hurricane Ida — the second-most damaging hurricane in Louisiana state history — made landfall 18 miles west of the city, leaving most of NOLA without power and causing extensive property damage. [3]

Where do hurricanes hit the most in New Orleans?

New Orleans is especially vulnerable to hurricanes due to it being around 6 feet below sea level on average and having a generally weak infrastructure. Furthermore, New Orleans has seen the wetlands to its south disappear as a result of coastal erosion, leaving it even more susceptible to storm surge during a hurricane. 

While no part of New Orleans is completely immune to hurricane devastation, neighborhoods on top of the city’s naturally built levees (the French Quarter, Marigny, Bywater, and parts of Uptown) are the least susceptible to flooding. [4]

Areas to the east of New Orleans, including St. Bernard's Parish — an area that was completely underwater during Hurricane Katrina — are generally the most at risk of severe hurricane damage. [5] How to prepare for hurricane season in New Orleans

While the city of New Orleans seems significantly more prepared to handle a major hurricane than it was at the time Katrina reached its shores, area residents should still make preparations for before, during, and after a major storm.  

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How to prepare for hurricane season in New Orleans

While the city of New Orleans seems significantly more prepared to handle a major hurricane than it was at the time Katrina reached its shores, area residents should still make preparations for before, during, and after a major storm.  

Before the storm

  • Review and update your home and flood insurance policies

  • Clean your property and street

  • Secure your home

  • Stock up on essentials for your hurricane emergency kit

  • Sign up for community or country emergency storm alerts

  • Plan an evacuation route

During the storm

  • If an evacuation is not mandatory, determine whether to evacuate or shelter in place

  • If evacuation is ordered, gather what you’ll need to leave

  • Follow weather alerts

  • Text ‘EVACNOLA’ to 77295 for evacuation assistance

  • Find an open shelter through the Red Cross

After the storm

  • Listen to local officials for details and special instructions about when it’s safe to return

  • While cleaning or making temporary repairs to your home, be sure to wear personal protective equipment

  • Document any property damage with video or photographs and file a claim.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the best month to visit New Orleans?

The best months to visit New Orleans are January through May. Mardi Gras typically lasts from early January into March, and the weather is also most comfortable this time of year.

How often do hurricanes hit New Orleans?

According to the NOAA, a hurricane hits New Orleans once every seven to 11 years, making NOLA one of the most hurricane-prone cities in the United States.

Is New Orleans safe during hurricane season?

While New Orleans is considerably safer during hurricane season than it was in 2005 thanks to stranger levees and floodwalls, the city’s low-lying geographical makeup make it a naturally dangerous place to live during hurricane season.

What month has the most hurricanes in Louisiana?

According to the NOAA, the Gulf Coast has the highest probability of hurricanes from August through October, with September 10 being the peak of hurricane season.