How rare is a snow event in Louisiana?

December 09, 2017 - 10:59 am
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(WWL.com)  South Louisiana saw some snow Friday morning to the delight of residents. So how rare of an event is this? State Climatologist Barry Keim says, believe it or not, we actually see white flakes more often than hurricanes. But for it to span nearly the entire bottom half of the state is very rare.

"When they occur it's delightful, but not incredibly common," said Keim.

More than six inches stuck in Kentwood, and snow covered the grass in Baton Rouge for the first time since December of 2009. So how does snow happen in Louisiana?

Keim says it happens when there is cold Canadian air at the surface, but moist air coming in from the Gulf of Mexico.

"And if the temperatures are cold enough in that Canadian layer, then you get snow," said Keim. "We get a lot of this type of weather in winter, but most of the time the temperatures aren't cold enough to produce snow so we just get cold rain."

Two to three inches of snow accumulated in Amite, and 2 inches of snow was measured on an elevated surface in Lake Charles.

Keim says high temperatures throughout the state on Friday did not get out of the 30s for the entire day which is also very uncommon for Louisiana.

"The minimums were around that freezing mark or a little bit above," said Keim. "But we're going to stay socked in with clouds and not a lot of warming today."

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