Claudette Reichel | 6/25/2008 9:38:05 PM
Most of Louisiana, all of Florida and much of the gulf coastal region are in the hot - humid climate region. (Figure 1, Climate Regions) 1
A hot-humid climate is defined as a region that receives more than 20 inches of annual rainfall and where one or both of the following occur:
This zone corresponds to the U.S. Dept. of Energy Climate Zones 1A + 2A + 3A, as indicated below the warm-humid line. (“A” represents the “moist” portion of the Department of Energy temperature zones.) South Louisiana is in DOE climate zone 2A; the northern half of Louisiana is in zone 3A.
Southeast Louisiana and coastal Mississippi are in an extreme annual rainfall region (more than 60 inches). The remainder of the Gulf Region is in a high annual rainfall region (40-60 inches).
New Orleans has 2,655 cooling degree days (a measure of how hot a climate is), 1,513 heating degree days (a measure of how cold a climate is) and 62 inches average annual rainfall. Shreveport has 2,368 cooling degree days, 2,264 heating degree days and 46 inches average annual rainfall.
Northeast Louisiana and most southeastern states are in the mixed- humid climate region.
A mixed-humid climate is defined as a region that receives more than 20 inches of annual precipitation, has less than 5,400 heating degree days (65 F basis)6 and where the average monthly outdoor temperature drops below 45 F (7 C) during the winter months.
This zone corresponds with DOE Climate Zones 4A and the portion of 3A located above the warm-humid line. The northeast corner of La. is and a large portion of most southern region states, except Florida, are in the mixed-humid zone.
Lake Providence in NE La. has 2,518 heating degree days, 2,250 cooling degree days and 55 inches average annual rainfall.
- South Louisiana, all of Florida and part of all southern and eastern coastal states are in a hurricane zone. The closer to the coast, the higher the wind speed risk.
- Tornadoes are common in the northern belt of Gulf States and along the edge of hurricanes in the coastal areas.
Much of the gulf region’s land area lies in Special Flood Hazards Areas (SFHAs). Flood patterns change, and areas not in a designated SFHA have flooded.
·Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are used by insurance agents to rate flood insurance and by parish and local governments in regulating development. Contact the local building or permit official for flood maps for your community. ·Elevating homes to a flood level higher than the minimum required BFE is highly recommended.
·Subterranean termites (native and Formosan) usually make their nests in the ground and create passageways to sources of food (cellulose) and moisture (leaks and condensation). They break into houses through construction elements and gaps as small as 1/32 of an inch. ·The Formosan subterranean termite is the most destructive insect in the United States. It can cause major structural damage to a home in six months and almost complete destruction in two years. (Figure 3, Formosean Subterranean Termite Nest in Wall)
 Based upon hygro-thermal regions as defined in Builder’s Guide to Hot-Humid Climates by Joseph Lstiburek, 2005 edition.
 Based upon the 3-second gust design wind speed map in the 2006 International Residential Code. Some states adopt different codes or maps.