How close did New Orleans get to 2015 being the coldest Mardi Gras on record? _lowres

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO -- The Krewe of Proteus Parades down Napoleon Ave. Monday, February 16, 2015. Founded in 1882, the Krewe of Proteus is the second-oldest krewe in Carnival history. Their floats still use the original chassis from the 1880's.

It's cold in New Orleans. You already know that. But how close did the city get to setting a Mardi Gras record?

The answer: Not that close.

The low this morning at Louis Armstrong International Airport dropped to 34 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Right before 7 a.m., the wind chill dropped down to 24.

The coldest Mardi Gras on record occurred on Feb. 14, 1899, which featured a low of 22 degrees, a high of 38 degrees and 3 inches of snow that had to be cleared from the streets before Rex could roll, according to the NWS.

Mardi Gras revelers will brave brisk winds and chilly conditions at Tuesday’s parades, the result of a strong and wet cold front that crossed the region late Monday and again proved true that timeless adage: If you don’t like the weather in Louisiana, wait a few minutes and it will change.

For the second straight year, Fat Tuesday paradegoers in New Orleans will be bundling up between throws, as the mercury isn’t expected to climb out of the 40s. Even those temperatures could be misleadingly warm, warned Carl Arredondo, chief meteorologist at WWL-TV, who said wind chills will remain — noticeably so — in the 30s.

The silver lining on this overcast holiday, Arredondo said, is that the precipitation that came with Monday’s front should be an afterthought.