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Lafayette is a small city in south-central Louisiana, and like many small Southern cities, it has a modest downtown area with patches of decline and renewal, and a fair amount of sprawl along major arteries. Oil and gas are the main industries, but the University of Louisiana has a 17,000 student campus in town and adds some vitality. The heart of Cajun country, Lafayette is a center for the flavors, sounds, and history of that colorful culture.
Typical of Louisiana, the level terrain is a mix of open land and wooded areas, with many slow moving creeks called “bayous.” The climate is humid subtropical with a modest Gulf influence, which moderates heat extremes but feeds the almost tropical humidity through the summer. Winters are mild with an occasional colder spell.
Rainfall is substantial in all seasons, with most precipitation arriving in spring and summer. Severe local storms occur most frequently in spring with hurricanes and tropical rains possible in late summer and fall. Nonetheless, the best seasons are spring and fall, which are mostly mild, dry, and sunny.
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