The Gulf of Mexico has been host to some of America's greatest natural disasters. The name Katrina will remain in the memories and history books of Louisianans for decades to come. Other hurricanes have been equally devastating, although less documented. The fragile ecology of the Gulf Coast is particularly vulnerable.
The climate is semi tropical, with mild winters and hot, sultry summers. The Spring and Autumn seasons can be particularly pleasant with afternoon showers and thunderstorms more common in the summer months.
The annual rainfall for Louisiana is around 20 inches greater than the American national average.
Hurricanes and tropical storms have ripped into the southern areas of the state for millions of years, reshaping the landscape, destroying habitat and claiming thousands of lives.
Extensive deforestation and industrialization of the area has left the natural infrastructure frail and vulnerable to these storms.
For many people living along the exposed coastal areas, storms such as Ike and Katrina irrevocably changed their lives, destroying their homes and employment opportunities, forcing them to relocate inland.
However, the northern state boundary nudges into tornado alley and these frequent twisters, because of the hills, tend to arrive suddenly, causing havoc and destroying homes and lives.
The frost season runs December through February, although northern counties will experience this for a longer period.
Snowfall is not uncommon, with the northern counties recording up to an inch.
With higher temperatures and rainfall the growing season in the south can stretch 230 to 290 days a year, whereas in the north of the state this is only 210 to 230 days, but with lower risk of hurricanes.