Does it snow in New Mexico?

Known as The Land of Enchantment, the state of New Mexico, the 5th largest by area and the 36th-most populous of the U.S. states, stands as one of the states with the highest number of federally owned territories in its country.

Only a little more than 81,000 sq mi of the 121,591 sq mi New Mexico possesses totally can be civil property. Not surprisingly, New Mexico has a significant military presence.

New Mexico hosts many protected wilderness areas and national monuments, including up to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and Taos Pueblo.

So, if you are passing through the southwestern United States and consider yourself a lover of landscapes, nature reserves, and even world-class heritage, the state of New Mexico is the perfect place for you.

Visit New Mexico and delight in its spectacular and unusual national parks and monuments: such as Bandelier National MonumentWhite Sands National ParkPetroglyph National MonumentGila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

In addition to its many landscapes, monuments, reserves, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, New Mexico has one of the most diverse climates and ecosystems in the southeastern U.S.


    Snow in New Mexico?

    Does it snow in New Mexico? The short answer is yes!

    If anything characterizes New Mexico, that's its Cold semi-arid climates (BSk), which extends (with certain variations) throughout its 33 counties. Although this type of climate has relatively low average annual temperatures (below 64.4 °F), its precipitation levels are too low.

    Snow in New Mexico
    Snow in New Mexico. Flickr.

    Yes, generally speaking, New Mexico is a very arid state. Indeed, its average rainfall is less than 14 inches per year.

    As far as the magnitude of New Mexico's snowfall is concerned, these are equally affected by the state's largely arid and semi-arid conditions. Generally, snowfalls occur more often in the north and central-northeast of New Mexico due to the low predominance of the steppe climate (BSk) in favor of other colder and more humid climates.

    Thus, answering the question at hand. And it is! It snows in New Mexico. Although, it doesn’t occur in all its regions with the same intensity.

    The climate of New Mexico


    According to the Köppen climate classification, counting types and subtypes, New Mexico exhibits up to 17 climate types throughout its territory, from Hot desert (BWh) to Tundra (ET), surpassing even the state of Utah in terms of geographical diversity concerns.

    Climates types of New Mexico according to Köppen climate classification
    Climates types of New Mexico according to Köppen climate classification.

    Due to such diversity, any general explanation of the characteristics of New Mexico's climate is useless since these aspects will depend exclusively on the prevailing climatological factors in each of the New Mexico regions.


    Technical characteristics

    Some of the following technical characteristics have been calculated by averaging climatological data for the principal cities of New Mexico: Tierra Amarilla, Estancia, Carlsbad, Lordsburg, Aztec, and Clayton:

    • Climate types of New Mexico (Köppen climate classification):
      • Hot Desert (BWh).
      • Cold Desert (BWk).
      • Hot semi-arid (BSh).
      • Cold semi-arid (BSk).
      • Hot-summer mediterranean (Csa).
      • Warm-summer mediterranean (Csb).
      • Cold-summer mediterranean (Csc).
      • Humid subtropical (Cwa).
      • Subtropical highland (Cwb).
      • Humid subtropical (Cfa).
      • Oceanic (Cfb).
      • Subpolar oceanic (Cfc).
      • Warm-summer mediterranean continental (Dsb).
      • Dry-summer subarctic (Dsc).
      • Warm-summer humid continental (Dfb).
      • Subarctic (Dfc).
      • Tundra (Et).
    • Average maximum temperatures in summer: 85.58 °F (29.7 °C).
    • Average maximum temperatures in winter: 52.75 °F (11.5 °C).
    • Average minimum temperature in summer: 58.29 °F (14.6 °C).
    • Average minimum temperatures in winter: 27.87 °F (-2.2 °C).
    • Average precipitation: 13.69 inches (34.7 cm).
    • Hottest counties: Lea and Eddy.
    • Highest record temperature: 122 °F / 50 °C (June 27, 1994. WIPP, Eddy County).
    • Coldest counties: Rio Arriba, Taos, and Mora.
    • Lowest record temperature: −50 °F / -45.5 °C (February 1, 1951. Gavilan, near Lindrith).

    When does it snow in New Mexico? 🌨

    Snow in New Mexico

    Does it snow in New Mexico in October?

    Yes, it might snow in October! From this month, it is possible to see light snowfall (less than an inch of accumulation on average) in the northern half of New Mexico.

    Does it snow in New Mexico in November?

    Yes, it does! Snowfalls exceed one inch of accumulation (on average) in cities such as Raton, Mora, Tierra Amarilla, Santa Fe, Taos, Las Vegas, Mosquero, and Los Alamos.

    Does it snow in New Mexico in December?

    Yes, it does! Once winter arrives, snowfall becomes much heavier in central and north-central New Mexico, easily topping the two inches of snowpacks (on average)

    Some counties of New Mexico have had the good fortune to experience a White Christmas. Socorro County, for example, received 16.7” of snowfall in Christmas 1987, specifically in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

    Does it snow in New Mexico in January?

    Yes, it does! January is the second snowiest month in New Mexico, with December snowfall being a little heavier on average.

    Does it snow in New Mexico in February?

    Yes, it does! While the average snowpack remains appreciable in the north half of New Mexico, overall, snowfalls decrease by approximately 30% of their intensity.

    Does it snow in New Mexico in March?

    Yes, it does! Despite being the last winter month, the average snow accumulation remains above one inch in Colfax, Mora, Rio Arriba, Taos, Santa Fe, San Miguel, Union, Los Alamos, and Harding counties.

    Does it snow in New Mexico in April?

    Yes, it does! Indeed, the average snowpack remains above one inch of accumulation in Colfax, Mora, and Taos counties.

    Does it snow in New Mexico in May?

    Yes, it might snow in May. Although, hopefully, only in some northern counties of the state.

    Where does it snow in New Mexico? 🌨

    Below, we present a map of the territorial division of the state of New Mexico in which the distribution of snowfall in the thirty-three counties that make up the state is roughly exemplified:

    Map of the territorial division of the state of New Mexico in which the distribution of snowfall in the thirty-three counties that make up the state is roughly exemplified


    1. In this case, the darker the blue color, the higher the average snow accumulation for the county in its snowiest month (January).
    2. This map is not an exact definition but rather an approximation of the behavior of snowfall in New Mexico since only its administrative centers are taken into account and not all the cities and towns that make up the county at the time of its creation.

    How much does it snow in New Mexico? 🌨

    Next, we expose a comparison chart of the average snow accumulation throughout a sliding 31-day period (centered on the day in question) in the thirty-three county seats of New Mexico:

    Tierra Amarilla4,942,40,90,100000,62,24,8
    Santa Fe2,61,91,60,70,100000,51,93,2
    Los Alamos2,31,71,20,60,100000,312,4
    Las Vegas2,31,91,60,70,100000,41,52,4
    Santa Rosa1,50,80,40,1000000,10,51,5
    Fort Sumner1,40,70,300000000,41,3
    Silver City10,60,200000000,31,1
    Los Lunas0,80,20,100000000,10,7
    Truth or Consequences0,30,1000000000,10,4
    Las Cruces0,20,1000000000,10,3

    Comparison chart of the average snow accumulation throughout a sliding 31-day period (centered on the day in question) in the thirty-three county seats of New Mexico

    The numbers shown in the table above represent inches.

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