Do you ever wonder: does it snow in New Mexico? Then you are not alone!
When thinking of New Mexico, you probably have a hot and dry desert in mind. But contrary to popular belief, it does snow in New Mexico.
Of course, this is not true for the entire state. There are regions that receive snow in New Mexico each winter. And I will help you find the nicest ones in this blog post.
Learn about the average snowfall in New Mexico per month and region, and of course the most sought-after winter destinations.
Let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
- Where Does it Snow in New Mexico?
- How Much Does It Snow in New Mexico?
- What Does Winter in New Mexico Look Like?
- Average Temperatures in New Mexico in Winter
- Where Can You Ski in New Mexico?
- Snowfall in New Mexico Per Month
- Conclusion: Snow in New Mexico
- About the Author
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Where Does it Snow in New Mexico?
In New Mexico, you’ll find snow mainly in the mountain areas and the northern part of the state. Not all areas of New Mexico experience snowfall each year, but some do.
New Mexico is pretty cool because you get this mix of desert landscapes and snowy mountains in one state. But let’s look at an overview on where you can expect some snow in New Mexico each year:
- Southern New Mexico: Areas like Alamogordo, Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge, and Carlsbad receive between 1 to 12 inches of snow annually. This might not be a lot, but you can still find some nice ski resorts in the area.
- Central New Mexico: Places like Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Gallup experience much more snowfall. They have yearly averages from around 8 to 22 inches. Santa Fe is especially famous for getting nice amounts of snow.
- Northern New Mexico: This is where you’ll find the biggest amounts of snow. Red River and Taos experience heavy snowfall each year. These are amazing places for winter sports for sure.
How Much Does It Snow in New Mexico?
|City/Area||Average Snowfall (inches per year)|
|El Vado Lake Dam||35.7|
What Does Winter in New Mexico Look Like?
It is quite hard to say what winter in New Mexico looks like each year since it differs a lot by region. In general, I have broken it down a bit for you so you can get an overview:
Northern New Mexico
This region experiences a colder, more traditional winter. You’ll get lots of snow, especially in the mountains
In Northern New Mexico you can expect picturesque winter landscapes. Especially places like Taos and Red River transform into winter wonderlands, ideal for winter sports.
Central New Mexico
Central New Mexico, like Albuquerque and Santa Fe, has milder winters compared to the north. Snowfall happens but isn’t as heavy.
You’ll experience snow-blanketed areas occasionally. Mostly, you’ll have some clear, crisp winter days. The contrast between the snow and the desert landscape is my favorite.
Southern New Mexico
This is where you’ll least expect the snow, but you can find some nonetheless. Winters are a lot milder here with less snow.
Regions like Alamogordo and Las Cruces have occasional snow but it’s not as common. If you drive up the mountains a bit toward Cloudcroft, you’ll have a big chance of snow in the winter.
Winter in Southern New Mexico is quite unusual. You’ll have warmer days where you can jump in the pool and colder days where temperatures drop below freezing.
Average Temperatures in New Mexico in Winter
Traditionally, the winter months in the United States are December, January, and February. As snow sometimes occurs earlier, I will give you a bit of a broader overview of the colder months in New Mexico.
|Month||Southern NM||Northern NM||Central NM|
|October||High 67-80°F (19-27°C)|
Low 31-51°F (0-11°C)
|High 56-72°F (13-22°C|
Low 25-37°F (-4-3°C)
|High 66-75°F (19-24°C)|
Low 32-46°F (0-8°C)
|November||High 54-68°F (12-20°C)|
Low 23-41°F (-5-5°C)
|High 44-58°F (6-14°C)|
Low 15-30°F (-9-1°C)
|High 53-63°F (11-17°C)|
Low 20-34°F (-7-1°C)
|December||High 44-59°F (6-15°C)|
Low 16-35°F (-9-2°C)
|High 35-49°F (1-9°C)|
Low 6-22°F (-14-6°C)
|High 43-53°F (6-12°C)|
Low 14-27°F (-10-3°C)
|January||High 43-59°F (6-15°C)|
Low 14-37°F (-10-3°C)
|High 35-50°F (1-10°C)|
Low 5-22°F (-15-6°C)
|High 43-53°F (6-12°C)|
Low 14-30°F (-10-1°C)
|February||High 47-64°F (8-18°C)|
Low 18-37°F (-8-3°C)
|High 37-52°F (2-11°C)|
Low 9-25°F (-13-4°C)
|High 47-59°F (8-15°C)|
Low 17-30°F (-8-1°C)
|March||High 56-72°F (13-22°C)|
Low 25-43°F (-4-6°C)
|High 45-58°F (7-14°C)|
Low 16-31°F (-9-1°C)
|High 55-67°F (12-20°C)|
Low 21-36°F (-6-2°C)
Where Can You Ski in New Mexico?
New Mexico has so many fabulous ski resorts. If you thought you needed to drive up to Colorado for a winter holiday, then you are dead wrong.
As an Austrian, I know good ski resorts. This is my verdict on the best ski resorts in New Mexico:
- Taos Ski Valley: Known for its challenging slopes and beautiful setting in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
- Angel Fire Resort: Family-friendly skiing resort, with lots of different slopes suitable for all skill levels
- Ski Santa Fe: Amazing views and nice slopes
- Red River Ski & Summer Area: A great destination for both winter skiing and summer activities.
- Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort: Known for being family-friendly and has one of the longest ski seasons in the state.
- Ski Apache: Located near Ruidoso, this resort is operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe. It also has a casino, which I love.
- Pajarito Mountain Ski Area:
- Sandia Peak Ski Area: Close to Albuquerque, lots of cool trails
- Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area: Mostly cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, located near Red River.
Snowfall in New Mexico Per Month
Does It Snow in New Mexico in October?
Yes, it can snow in New Mexico in October.
Especially in the higher mountains and northern parts of the state, snow in October is possible. Places like the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Taos are likely to see early snowfall.
However, snow in October is not common for lower elevations and southern regions.
Doest It Snow in New Mexico in November?
Yes, snow in New Mexico in November is more common than in October.
Ski areas like Taos Ski Valley, Angel Fire, and Red River may start seeing more consistent snowfall. This is great for setting the stage for the ski season.
The chance of snow increases as you go further into the month and the temperatures drop.
Lower elevations and southern parts of the state might still have less snow or none at all. That really depends on the year.
Does It Snow in New Mexico in December?
Yes, in December snow is common in New Mexico.
This is the time when ski resorts like Taos Ski Valley, Angel Fire Resort, and Ski Santa Fe typically have great snow coverage. December is a popular time for skiing and snowboarding in New Mexico.
In the higher elevations, a lot of snowfall is even expected. This is when you’ll see all those picturesque winter landscapes.
Lower elevations and southern parts of the state may receive less snow, but there usually is a little bit.
Does It Snow in New Mexico in January?
Yes, it definitely snows in New Mexico in January. January is one of the coldest and snowiest months of the year in the state.
This is the prime season for winter sports, so definitely check pick January for a skiing vacation.
Even in lower regions and the south, snow does happen from time to time.
Does It Snow in New Mexico in February?
Yes, it does snow in New Mexico in February. This month is still part of the winter season so you can expect regular snowfall.
Especially in Northern New Mexico, snowfall in February is common. In the South, it becomes less and less common, as the month drags on.
Conclusion: Snow in New Mexico
In this post, we learned all about the snowfall in New Mexico. You may be surprised by the fact, that it does snow quite a lot in New Mexico.
Especially northern regions experience full, traditional winters with lots of snow. There are many great ski resorts, such as Taos, Angel Fire and Red River.
We discussed average inches of snowfall per bigger city and region, as well as the average snowfall per month.
I hope this guide answered all your questions about snow in New Mexico.
If you are looking for the perfect time to go to the White Sands National Park, look no further. For more cultural info about New Mexico, this is the way to go.
About the Author
I am Sabrina, nice to meet you! I am a New Mexico-based travel blogger. This blog is about living and traveling in the United States. Find useful travel tips, cultural facts and lots of interesting history on this blog.
My husband and I are exploring New Mexico on the weekends – and the rest of the US with our PTO. We have both traveled to many places in the US by ourselves – and now we set the goal of discovering all states of the USA together. Join us on this fun journey!