Does It Snow In New Mexico? From Desert Heat to Snowy Retreat?

Does It Snow In New Mexico

New Mexico is a state in the southwestern United States. It is a land of great diversity, with several different climate zones. The mountains in the north receive significant rainfall each year, while the plains in the south are relatively dry, but does it snow in New Mexico?

It is a question that is remained in the minds of many. But worry not, folks, because we have the answer to this question; please keep reading on to find out!

Shiprock, New Mexico, USA | Does it Snow in New Mexico?
Shiprock, New Mexico, USA

Does It Snow in New Mexico?

While New Mexico is known for having hot and sunny weather, the state actually sees a decent amount of snow each winter. The mountains in northern and central New Mexico usually receive the most snow, with the southern part of the state generally getting less.

So, Yes, it does snow in New Mexico! Although, It can snow in New Mexico, but it is not a common occurrence. The state generally sees more rain than snow, with the exception of higher elevations. New Mexico receives an average of 24 inches of snow annually.

If you are planning to visit New Mexico during the winter, be sure to check the forecast and be prepared for some cold weather.

How Often Does It Snow in New Mexico?

New Mexico is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States of America. It is one of the Mountain States and shares its northern border with Colorado.

New Mexico also has a border with Oklahoma to the east, Texas to the southeast, and Mexico to the south. The western portions of the state feature forests of pine, fir, and spruce trees, as well as wide open plains and grasslands. The eastern part of New Mexico is dominated by desert landscapes.

The state of New Mexico has a semi-arid climate, which means that it generally receives very little rainfall each year. However, the state does see some snowfall each winter.

On average, New Mexico receives around 24 inches (61 cm) of snow each year. However, this number can vary greatly from year to year and from one area of the state to another.

When Does it Snow In New Mexico?

Winter New Mexico landscape | Does it Snow in New Mexico |
Winter New Mexico landscape

The answer to this question depends on where in New Mexico you are asking about. Northern New Mexico, particularly the mountains, can get snow as early as October and as late as May. However, the central and southern parts of the state typically don’t see snow until December or January.

Albuquerque sees an average of 7.9 inches of snow per year, while Santa Fe sees an average of 20.2 inches of snow per year.

The Seasons in New Mexico

Summer in New Mexico is characterized by warm days and cool evenings. The state experiences very little rain from June to September, so it is important to be aware of the potential for wildfires during this time.

Autumn brings cooler weather and the start of the state’s hunting season. This is also a good time to visit New Mexico’s many vineyards and taste the new wines that have been released.

Winter sees temperatures dip, especially in the northern part of the state. ski resorts open around Thanksgiving and remain open through April.

New Mexico is also a popular destination for winter camping, as there are many beautiful places to see blanketed in snow.

Springtime in New Mexico is a time of rebirth as the state’s many desert plants begin to bloom. This is also an excellent time for hiking, as the temperatures are not yet too hot.

What Is the Climate Like in New Mexico?

New Mexico is a land of contradictions. The state is mostly desert, but it also has mountains that rise more than 12,000 feet (3,658 meters) and receive enough snowfall to make them popular ski resorts. New Mexico’s climate varies depending on location.

The eastern part of the state has a cooler, wetter climate, while the western part is drier and warmer. In general, the higher elevation areas are cooler than, the lower elevation areas.

The table below shows average temperatures and precipitation for cities in New Mexico.

City(Location) Average Temperature (°F) Precipitation(inches)
Albuquerque 62 7
Carlsbad 59 8
Clovis 62 7
Farmington 50 10
Gallup 54 8
Grants 53 8
Hobbs 64 6
Las Cruces 63 7
Kachina Peak, New Mexico, USA
Kachina Peak, New Mexico, USA

Things to Do in New Mexico in Winter

Although New Mexico is known for its hot desert climate, the state actually experiences a wide range of weather conditions depending on the location.

The mountains and high desert areas can be cold and snowy in winter, while the southern part of the state is generally mild. Here are some ideas for things to do in New Mexico during winter:

  • Skiing or snowboarding at one of the state’s many ski resorts, such as Taos Ski Valley, Angel Fire Resort, Santa Fe Ski Area, Sandia Peak, or Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort.
  • Exploring one of New Mexico’s many national parks, such as Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, or Bandelier National Monument.
  • Visiting one of the state’s quaint towns or cities, such as Santa Fe (the state capital), Albuquerque, Taos, or Silver City.
  • Soaking in one of the state’s many hot springs, such as those at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, Orilla Verde, Black Rock Hot Springs, or Riverside Hot Springs.
  • Attending a rodeo or other special event, such as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (held every October), the Santa Fe Indian Market (held every August), or the Taos Pueblo Powwow (held every July).
  • Take a scenic drive along the Enchanted Circle Byway, which traverses through the southern Rocky Mountains.
  • Check out a heritage site, such as the Kit Carson Home and Museum or Billy the Kid Museum.

What Are the Best Places to See the Snow in New Mexico?

There are many great places to see snow in New Mexico, but some of the best include:

Ski Santa Fe

Ski Santa Fe is located just outside of Santa Fe and offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. The resort typically receives heavy snowfall each year, making it a great place to enjoy some winter activities.

Taos Ski Valley

Taos Ski Valley is located in northern New Mexico and offers some of the best skiing in the state. The resort typically receives heavy snowfall each year, making it a great place to enjoy some winter activities.

Angel Fire Resort

Angel Fire Resort is located in northern New Mexico and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The resort typically receives heavy snowfall each year, making it a great place to enjoy some winter activities.


In short, Yes, it does snow in New Mexico! Although it’s not as common as in some of the other states, like Colorado or Utah, it’s still something that happens often enough that you should be prepared for it if you’re planning to visit or move to New Mexico. So make sure you pack your winter clothes and enjoy the beauty of a New Mexico winter!

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FAQs: About Snow in New Mexico

Does It Ever Snow in New Mexico?

Yes, it does snow in New Mexico. The state receives an average of around 24 inches of snowfall each year. However, the amount of snowfall can vary greatly from one year to the next.

When Does It Usually Start Snowing in New Mexico?

Again, that can vary depending on the year, but typically the first significant snowfall happens in October or November in the northern part of the state and December or January in the southern part.
Snowfall in New Mexico usually begins in October and can continue through May. However, the majority of the state’s snowfall typically occurs between December and March.

Where in New Mexico Do You Usually Get the Most Snow?

The mountains of northern New Mexico generally receive the most snowfall each year. For example, the town of Red River typically sees around 156.7 inches of snow each winter.