Discover Louisiana’s Coldest January on Record

Written by Jennifer Hollohan
Updated: March 9, 2023
© Roberto Michel/
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Louisiana is well-known for many things, but cold weather is not one of them. Visitors flock there every year to get away from the northern cold. And most of the time, that journey proves successful. Unfortunately, even Louisiana has some bitterly cold days on the books, made all the worse by higher humidity. 

But how cold does it get in the state? Keep reading below as we take a look at Louisiana’s coldest January. Then, we will dive into the animals that live in the area. After all, not all were built for the deep cold!

What Was Louisiana’s Coldest January?

For the most part, Louisiana has a relatively balmy winter. The average low is 43 degrees Fahrenheit. And the average high is in the low 60s but varies slightly depending on the region. Those temperatures make sense, given that the southern part of the state sits on the Gulf of Mexico. Warm air currents from the south keep the temperatures at a comfortable level, even in the deepest part of winter.

However, the state is not immune to occasional blasts of cold air. For example, on January 21, 1985, Baton Rouge reached a brutal 9 degrees Fahrenheit. And although residents did suffer that day, it was only Louisiana’s coldest January, not the coldest winter day.

Previous single-digit days occurred on February 13 and 14, 1899 (2 degrees Fahrenheit and 7 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively). And on December 23, 1989, the temp dipped to 8 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fallen leaves Baton Rouge, Louisiana
In history, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has only had four days of single-digit temperatures.

©Roberto Michel/

What is the Coldest Day on Record in the US?

There are two different cold weather records for the United States. The first is for the continental United States. Rogers Pass, in Montana, holds the record for the coldest single day. It sits at 5,470 feet in elevation and had its thermometer nearly bottomed out on January 20, 1954. That day, the low was -70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The other cold weather record is for the United States as a whole. And it is probably not a surprise that the winner for this record is in Alaska. The coldest official single-day temperature recorded in the US was -80 degrees Fahrenheit on January 23, 1971.

What Animals Live in Baton Rouge?

Baton Rouge is a historically significant and thriving city in Louisiana. It also happens to be the state’s capital. Although the area has a deep and rich pre-history, it only got incorporated in 1817. It is strategically positioned on the Mississippi River’s eastern bank and is only a short drive from the Gulf. Its subtropical climate means the area has an incredibly diverse collection of animals. 


Our mammal friends love the weather in Louisiana. So if you head out on a short drive into the countryside or go for a walk, you may encounter any number of critters, large and small. These include foxes, otters, opossums, bats, shrews, skunks, mink, bobcats, coyotes, muskrats, deer, beavers, armadillos, and ringtails.


Everyone knows that you must use caution when hanging out near waterways in the south. And Louisiana is no different. Wander near the rivers or streams around Baton Rouge, and you may encounter an alligator! But they aren’t the only reptile in the area. Turtles, snakes, lizards, and geckos abound.


Some of the littlest critters love the Baton Rouge area. They include toads, frogs, salamanders, and newts.


Perhaps the best part about Baton Rouge is its extensive collection of birds and waterfowl. The following is a small sampling of the many species you may see: Great Egret, American Robin, Green Heron, Eastern Bluebird, Downy Woodpecker, and Red-tailed Hawk. So, get your binoculars set for some spectacular bird-watching. You won’t be disappointed.


Some other critters you may encounter around Baton Rouge include a wide variety of insects and arachnids. Plus, with over fifty types of fish making their way around lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams, the fishing can’t be beaten! Keep your eyes peeled for Black Bullhead, Blue Catfish, Black Crappie, and European Carp.

Wander near the rivers or streams around Baton Rouge, and you may encounter an alligator!

©Jim Schwabel/

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The Featured Image

University Lake, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
University Lake, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
© Roberto Michel/

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About the Author

Jennifer is a writer, Nutritionist, and Herbalist, and hobby gardener. She is passionate about writing and enjoys digging into new, unique topics. When not glued to the computer screen, she loves hanging out with her kids, working in her garden, and crafting crazy culinary delights.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What was the coldest Christmas in Louisiana?

On Christmas of 1983, the temperature in Central Louisiana dipped to 9 °F. It is the coldest Christmas on record in the state.

Has Louisiana ever had a blizzard?

Yes! In 1899, New Orleans received nearly four inches of snow, with high winds and bitter cold. It is known as the Great Blizzard.

How cold does winter get in Louisiana?

The average winter temperatures fluctuate between the mid-40s and low 50s.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

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