Climate

Louisiana has a relatively constant semitropical climate. Rainfall and humidity decrease, and daily temperature variations increase, with distance from the Gulf of Mexico. The normal daily temperature in New Orleans is 68°F (20°C), ranging from 52°F (11°C) in January to 82°F (28°C) in July. The all-time high temperature is 114°F (46°C), recorded at Plain Dealing on 10 August 1936; the all-time low, -16°F (-27°C), was set at Minden on 13 February 1899. New Orleans has sunshine 60% of the time, and the average annual rainfall (1971-2000) was 64.2 in (163 cm). Snow falls occasionally in the north, but rarely in the south.

Prevailing winds are from the south or southeast. During the summer and fall, tropical storms and hurricanes frequently batter the state, especially along the coast. Tropical Storm Allison (June 2001) caused severe flooding in coastal regions. Among the most severe hurricanes in recent decades were Audrey, which entered Cameron Parish on 28 June 1957, causing 400-500 deaths and property damage of $150 million; Betsy, which entered the coast near Grand Isle on 9 September 1965, causing 58 deaths and damages of $1.2 billion; and Andrew, which landed on 25 August 1992 after devastating southern Florida two days earlier. Katrina in 2005 caused the most damage in U.S. history. The storm caused billions of dollars of damage, destruction of homes and businesses and 95,000 square miles of devastation in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida; however, northeast Louisiana was not effected. There were no industry shutdowns or loss of days work.

For more information about climate in Louisiana and the Northeast Region visit:

Louisiana Office of State Climatology

Louisiana State University
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
(225) 578-6870 – Office
(225) 578-2912 – FAX
www.losc.lsu.edu

Louisiana Watershed Management

Louisiana is blessed with extensive surface water resources including miles of freshwater swamps, streams, bayous, rivers and lakes. In addition, extensive fresh, brackish, and saltwater wetlands exist throughout the coastal zone. Forty percent of the coastal wetlands in the lower 48 states are in Louisiana. Almost 20 percent or 8,277 square miles of the states’ 43,566 square miles of land area is covered by water.

Surface water resources in Louisiana are used for a wide variety of purposes including human consumption, agricultural irrigation, transportation, industrial processes, recreation, seafood production, wildlife and so much more. A great portion of the Louisiana economy and cultural heritage is directly linked to the surface water resources that exist today.

Resources

http://srwqis.tamu.edu/states/louisiana/watershed.aspx

Louisiana’s watershed and water statistics. Information on all states can be obtained at this site.
http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/state.cfm?statepostal=LA 2003

Report to Congress on Louisiana’s water.
http://oaspub.epa.gov/waters/w305b_report_v2.state?p_state=LA

Tornado History

Northeast Louisiana as the rest of the nation, has tornado activity. The loss of life has been rare. In comparison to our neighboring states, we have the lower incidence of storms and Louisiana is well out of “tornado alley”.

In the Midwest, Tornado Alley is a nickname for a broadly defined area where there is a higher experience of tornados than elsewhere in the nation. Tornados occur all over the United States.

Earthquake History

The Northeast Louisiana Economic Development Region is located in Seismic Zone 1, which means that an area is 10% channel active, peak acceleration level of 0.1g (1/10 the ascimation of gravity) will occur in the next 50 years. All states that have one or more historical incendences since quakes have been recorded even all of those outside the seismic zones identified in the earthquake region.

United States Government site shows earthquake and tectonic plates. It is educational and gives history as well as pictorial examples. “An earthquake is the shaking of the ground caused by an abrupt shift of rock along a fracture in the Earth, called a fault. Within seconds, an earthquake releases stress that has slowly accumulated within the rock, sometimes over hundreds of years.”

The size of an earthquake is indicated by a number called its magnitude. Magnitude is calculated from a measurement of either the amplitude or the duration of specific types of recorded seismic waves. Magnitude is determined from measurements made from seismograms and not on reports of shaking or interpretations of building damage. The intensity of an earthquake is a measure of the amount of ground shaking at a particular site, and it is determined from reports of human reaction to shaking, damage done to structures, and other effects.

Earth scientists believe that most earthquakes are caused by slow movements inside the Earth that push against the Earth’s brittle, relatively thin outer layer, causing the rocks to break suddenly. This outer layer is fragmented into a number of pieces, called plates. Most earthquakes occur at the boundaries of these plates. In Washington State, the small Juan de Fuca plate off the coast of Washington, Oregon, and northern California is slowly moving eastward beneath a much larger plate that includes both the North American continent and the land beneath part of the Atlantic Ocean. Plate motions in the Pacific Northwest result in shallow earthquakes widely distributed over Washington and deep earthquakes in the western parts of Washington and Oregon. The movement of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath the North America plate is in many respects similar to the movements of plates in South America, Mexico, Japan, and Alaska, where the world’s largest earthquakes occur.