Behind the scenes with Pirate’s Alley…
In this week’s edition, I’d like to introduce you to winter in New Orleans. This is how it normally looks in January:
Daytime temps are in the 50s, it’s often rainy and/or humid, and it’s windy and surprisingly cold because of the dampness. At night, it will go below freezing a few times. In all the years I lived there, I only experienced a “hard freeze” (below freezing for more than 36 consecutive hours) one time, when it went in the teens at night.
Snow? It happens, but not often. It snowed twice during my years in the city. Once, it was a bare dusting that lasted a couple of hours, which was enough to get everyone excited. The second time was on Christmas Day, 2004, eight months before Katrina. We got maybe an inch that day, which lasted less than 12 hours before it melted. For a few hours, though, it was pretty amazing.
Here’s a shot from that day, of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line a block from my house:
Now, what does this have to do with Pirate’s Alley? Well, during the entire book, which takes place over about a one-week period, Dec. 14-21 or so, New Orleans is below freezing, with blizzard conditions. The surrounding areas of Louisiana are having a normal winter.
It makes one suspect that perhaps something other than Mother Nature could be manipulating the weather, right? Just sayin’…