From Alexandria south to Lafayette and the west to Lake Charles and east to Baton Rouge for the summer of 2023, all of those great Louisiana communities could be described with one word, crunchy. It was so very dry during the late spring, summer, and well into the fall of 2023, that drought monitor records for the state were smashed.

Senior man with towel suffering from heat stroke outdoors, low angle view
Liudmila Chernetska

The lack of falling water was not only detrimental to our crops that count on rainfall to grow but also to our crawfish farmers who count on an abundance of water to make a crop. Those crawfish farmers are just now starting to come out from under the effects of the drought, many of them will be seeking federal assistance because of the drought conditions.

Unfortunately for Louisiana, the summer of 2024 is shaping up to be a tale of two seasons. Based on climatology forecasts for the next three months Louisiana and much of the Gulf South can expect a lot of what we saw last summer. If you recall we had more than a few days above 100 degrees. It looks as if we'll get a repeat of that. Here's what the Climate Prediction Center is suggesting we'll see for the next three months.

If you're wondering what is "average", according to US Climate the average high temperature for Lafayette in June is 91, it's 92 for July, and it's 93 for August. So, based on the CPC forecast we should expect temperatures in the mid to upper 90s to be "normal" for the upcoming summer.

The only thing that can keep the temperatures down is rainfall. And there does appear to be some good news in that department for South Louisiana and the Gulf South in general. The Climate Prediction Center forecast for rainfall does suggest more than normal.

What is normal rainfall for Lafayette, Louisiana during the summer months? Again we lean on US Climate Data for the details. They say June's average rainfall is 7.08 inches, it's 6.30 inches in July, and for August the average rainfall is 4.62. So, wetter would be better as long as it doesn't come all at once.

Yes, the tropical season could be the wild card in how Louisiana's summer fares. The National Hurricane Center will reveal its seasonal forecast later this week. It's probably going to echo the previously released forecasts from Colorado State and Accu-Weather. Both of those forecast entities are calling for a very active hurricane season with many of the developing storms forming in the Caribbean Sea or Western Atlantic Ocean.

In the meantime, we can at least have our HVAC systems serviced, and our roofs checked, and we can make sure the storm drains aren't overgrown with weeds. And don't forget to crank the generator sometime before there is a storm in the Gulf. There is nothing worse than an impending storm, an angry wife, and a generator that won't crank.

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Gallery Credit: Scott Clow




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