The Climate of New Mexico

By | August 27, 2022

According to Abbreviation Finder, New Mexico (NM) is one of the United States of America. The state is located in the southern US and borders the country of Mexico and the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. Whoever visits the official site of the state of New Mexico will undoubtedly be confronted with the beautiful nickname “Land of Enchantment”. The New Mexico landscape can rightly be called enchanting in some places. New Mexico became part of that country after the establishment of the Republic of Mexico. After the Mexican-American war, Mexico ceded part of the area, after which a few years later (in 1853) the southern strip, in combination with southwestern Texas, was sold by Mexico to the US. It was not until the year 1912 that New Mexico became an official state within the United States.

Dry climate

Most of New Mexico has arid climates, such as the cold steppe climate and – in the driest areas – a cold desert climate. Locally, especially in the mountainous regions of central New Mexico, continental climate types occur. In New Mexico there are quite large contrasts between summer and winter. The summer period, which often starts at the end of May and lasts well into September, is sunny, fairly dry and warm to very warm. For large parts of New Mexico, this is also the time when the probability of precipitation increases, although the amounts are still mostly low. In the winter months, most precipitation falls in the form of snow. In the higher mountain areas, this snow often remains for a longer period of time,

Climate figures

The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).

maximum temperature minimum temperature hours of sunshine per day days of rainfall per month
January 5℃ -9℃ 8 5
February 7℃ -7℃ 8 5
March 11℃ -4℃ 9 6
April 16℃ 0℃ 10 5
May 21℃ 4℃ 11 6
June 26℃ 9℃ 12 7
July 28℃ 12℃ 11 11
August 26℃ 11℃ 10 11
September 22℃ 8℃ 9 7
October 18℃ 2℃ 9 5
November 11℃ -4℃ 8 4
December 6℃ -8℃ 7 5

The climate of Acoma Pueblo

Acoma Pueblo is a so-called pueblo in the US state of New Mexico. The authentic village is formed by four communities: Sky City, Acomita, Anzac and McCartys. The Acoma Pueblo Tribe is a federally recognized tribe. Acoma Pueblo is an official National Historic Landmark. Acoma Pueblo has been around since 1144, making it one of the earliest continuously inhabited communities in the US. The settlement is built on a table mountain, which is about 112 meters high.

The weather in Acoma Pueblo is determined by the prevailing cold steppe climate (BSk climate). This semi-arid climate has an annual precipitation sum of about 250 millimeters. It is striking that the summers are slightly wetter than the other months. July and August are the wettest months, with about 40 to 50 millimeters of rain per month. In practice, this still means that it rains less than in the Netherlands.

If you look at Acoma Pueblo’s climate statistics, you will see that there are quite large differences between the minimum and maximum temperatures. Within an average 24-hour period, there is an average temperature trend of around twenty degrees. It doesn’t matter what season you are in Acoma Pueblo. In summer the average afternoon temperatures are around 30-32 degrees and the minimums just above 10 degrees. In winter it is quite mild during the day, with maxima averaging 8 to 12 degrees. At night it gets quite cold in Acoma Pueblo: expect minimums of -6 to -10 degrees on average in the period November to mid-March. Although precipitation in winter does not occur as often, there is a reasonable chance that the precipitation will fall in the form of snow.

The climate of Alamogordo

According to Countryaah, Alamogordo is a city that is fairly centrally located in the US state of New Mexico. Those familiar with US nuclear history will likely recognize the name Alamogordo as the site where the first atomic bomb was detonated by American scientists on July 16, 1945. This was several weeks before nuclear weapons were deployed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to bring Japan to its knees during World War II. Alamogordo is also known to gaming enthusiasts for its Atari video game graveyard. About 12 million cartridges for the Atari 2600 were dumped here in 1983. In 2014 this special landfill site was uncovered.

Alamogordo has a cold steppe climate. It is sometimes claimed that there is a desert climate, but for that there is just a little too much precipitation in Alamogordo. The BSk climate in Alamogordo has an annual precipitation sum of about 280 to 300 millimeters and an average annual temperature of 17.3 °C over the past three decades. It is striking that the summer months are somewhat wetter than the other months. July and August are the wettest months. The temperature in Alamogordo rises on average in summer to about 32 to 35 degrees. Sometimes the mercury rises to 40 degrees. The winters are quite mild. The maximums are around 12 to 18 degrees and the minimums around or just above the freezing point.

The climate of Albuquerque

Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico and is located in the central part of this state. The city is located in Bernalillo County, on the edge of the Chihuahua Desert, on the Rio Grande River. The famous Route 66 used to run right through Albuquerque. Today you are guided around the city, but the old road is still a tourist attraction in Albuquerque. The city was founded by the Spaniards in the early 18th century as a trading post with Santa Fe. The Kirtland Air Force Base is located here and is the city’s largest employer.

Albuquerque has a cold steppe climate, which is mainly distinguished by the low rainfall that falls on an annual basis. During the summer months, the mercury can really rise. The temperatures then feel tropical, with many hours of sunshine. Fortunately, the relatively low relative humidity means that it doesn’t get clammy so easily in Albuquerque. Winters are cold and cool and long periods of frost and night frost can occur.

The climate of the Bisti Badlands

If there is one country where you can discover beautiful results of erosion in the landscape, it is the United States of America. Especially in Arizona, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico you will find all kinds of elements formed by wind and/or water, such as hoodoos, canyons and arches. The Bisti Badlands Wilderness is a great example of this. This wildlife sanctuary is part of the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in New Mexico. The landscape offers many expressions of rocks that have changed considerably over the years due to various types of erosion. The different layers provide beautiful color palettes. The lack of fixed routes means that walking through the Bisti Badlands is no easy task. Keep in mind that you cannot shelter here from the heat and you will sometimes hardly meet other people during a hike. Good navigation and sufficient provisions are therefore absolutely necessary.

The Bisti Badlands has a cold desert climate (BWk climate). It is mainly the lower temperatures in winter that ensure that there is no warm desert climate. In winter, night frost is very common and it can snow in the Bisti Badlands too. In the summer, on the other hand, it is quite warm here: count on maximum temperatures that are on average around or slightly above 30 degrees in June, July and August. Early in the morning it can be a bit chilly. Temperatures generally rise quickly after sunrise. The chance of rain in the Bisti Badlands is quite limited. On average there is about 200 millimeters of precipitation per year and this is fairly well distributed over the year.

The climate of Clovis

Clovis is a medium-sized city in the far east of New Mexico, not far from the Texas border. The city is located in Curry County, in the Clovis-Portales Combined Statistical Area. The city was founded in the early 20th century with the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad. Before this period, several Indian tribes lived in the region. Signs of these civilizations can be found in the Blackwater Draw. The Cannon Air Force Base is located just outside the city.

Clovis has a cold steppe climate, with more precipitation than most places in New Mexico. However, the precipitation here is still so low that the climate can be classified as a steppe climate. Winters can be quite cold, with long periods of frost. Summers are warm to hot and most days have many hours of sunshine. Most precipitation falls during the high summer months.

The climate of Farmington

Farmington is a medium-sized city in the far northwest of the state of New Mexico, not far from the borders with the states of Arizona, Utah and Colorado. The city is located near a so-called four-state point. Farmington is located in San Juan County, where the San Juan, Animas, and La Plata rivers meet. There are several Indian reservations near the city. The UNESCO-listed Mesa Verde National Park is just across the border here in the state of Colorado.

Farmington has a cold steppe climate, with very little rainfall throughout the year. The climate in Farmington shows many similarities with the cold desert climate, although the average annual precipitation is a bit too high for that. The winter months are cool and cold. with long periods of (night) frost. The summers are very hot, with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.

The climate of the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a protected area within the US state of New Mexico. The small park (less than 22 square kilometers) is known for its cone-shaped rock formations. These so-called ‘tent rocks’ consist of different layers of rock, which have acquired their unique shape through erosion over millions of years. Within the park are two hiking trails: the 2-kilometer Cave Loop Trail and the slightly longer Canyon Trail. There are several viewpoints in the park. A popular viewpoint is the Veterans Memorial Scenic Overlook. The dirt road leading here requires a car with a little more ground clearance.

Within the Köppen-Geiger climate system, the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument has a BSk climate or a cold steppe climate. This semi-arid climate type has relatively little precipitation and an average annual temperature that is below 18 degrees Celsius, in this case between 10 and 11 degrees. The winters are quite mild during the day, but do have nights when moderate frost is quite obvious. Sometimes it can come to severe or very severe frost. In winter, snowfall is also not an uncommon phenomenon. Summers are a lot warmer. During the hottest months (July and August), daytime temperatures easily reach around 30 degrees. It always gets hotter. If you then go for a walk in the park, it can be quite tough. Drink plenty of water, preferably water

The climate of Roswell

Roswell is a medium-sized town in the southeastern US state of New Mexico. Roswell is located on the Pecos River, in Chaves County. Roswell has gained worldwide fame because according to many sources and rumors, an alien spacecraft crashed here in 1947, the Roswell UFO incident as it is better known. There are many conspiracy theories about this incident. The various US government agencies contradict each other in many ways, which is only more fodder for the many supporters of these conspiracy theories. The only thing you can say for sure is that it didn’t hurt Roswell. Every year many tourists come to the “Alien Capital of the World”, as the city calls itself.

Roswell has a cold steppe climate, which is mainly characterized by the low rainfall that falls there. The winter months can be cold, with long periods of night frost, although they are a lot less cold than the more northerly places in New Mexico. During the summer months the mercury can rise considerably and temperatures well above 35 degrees Celsius are certainly no exception.

The climate of Santa Fe

The capital, Santa Fe, is fairly centrally located in the American state of New Mexico. Located at an altitude of 2134 meters above sea level, Santa Fe is the highest capital in the US. Santa Fe is home to the oldest church in the US still in use. San Miguel Mission, also known as the San Miguel Chapel, dates back to the early 17th century.

Santa Fe has a cold steppe climate, type BSk according to the Köppen-Geiger climate system. Santa Fe has four seasons: a cool winter, a dry and relatively short spring, a warm summer and a short and dry autumn. During the winters there is a fairly high chance of night frost. Moderate to severe frosts occur regularly in December, January and February. During the winter, an average of 66 centimeters of snow falls. A snow cover thicker than twenty centimeters does not occur very often because snowfall and thaw regularly alternate within the more than three months of winter.

The climate of Silver City

Silver City is a place in the southwest of the US state of New Mexico. The town has more than ten thousand inhabitants and is located at an altitude of about 1923 meters above sea level. Minerals have long been an important source of income here. First, the Spaniards started mining copper. When prospectors came to try their luck here, it turned out that there was silver ore to be found. This led to the foundation of Silver City in 1870. The prosperity of the place attracted famous bandits such as Billy The Kid and Butch Cassidy. The days of the Wild West are long gone here. Today, Silver City is a quiet town where the economy is based on tourism and trade, among other things. Mining is still an important source of income.

Silver City has a cold steppe climate (type BSk). This climate means that the summers in Silver City are quite warm, but the winter months regularly have to deal with heavy frost during the nights. During the day it is quite mild in winter. Think of a degree or 10 to 12 on average as a maximum in the period December to February. In the summer it is a lot warmer. In the afternoon, the thermometers in Silver City often shoot to values ​​that are around or just above 30 degrees. A striking fact is that the summer months (July and August) are somewhat wetter than the other months. In winter, there is a reasonable chance that precipitation will fall in the form of snow instead of rain.

The climate of Taos

Taos is a town that is beautifully located in the American state of New Mexico. Taos consists of three parts: the Historic Center, Ranchos de Taos and Taos Pueblo. All three areas are of interest to tourists. Very cool is a visit to Taos Pueblo. An Indian community has lived here for more than a thousand years in traditional clay houses. The architectural style is also reflected in the historic center of Taos. Taos Plaza is located here, as the vibrant heart of the town. This place is regularly the setting for performances and festivals. The third part is Ranchos de Taos, which is on the south side. The church here is a very fine example of Spanish colonial architecture in the US. The San Francisco de Asís Mission Church was built in the late eighteenth century and has been restored several times.

If you visit Taos, you will have to deal with a cold steppe climate or a BSk climate. Some sources claim that there is a moderate continental climate here, but based on the climate statistics, this is debatable.

Winters in Taos can have mild days with frigid nights. During the day, the mercury is usually above freezing, sometimes even reaching double digits. The geographical location ensures that it can cool down considerably in the evening and night. Moderate to severe frost is normal in the period November to mid-March. Due to the cold, precipitation falls more often in the form of snow during the dark, while it is more likely to rain during the day. If there is precipitation, because Taos is quite dry, especially in winter.

The summer months have a little more chance of precipitation, without it being really wet in Taos. The maximum temperatures during the hottest months (June, July and August) average between 27 and 30 degrees. September still has quite a few days that the summer value of 25 degrees is reached and with a bit of luck October also has a lot of pleasant months.

The climate of the White Sands National Park

The White Sands National Park is one of two national parks in the US state of New Mexico. The name already reveals what the main attraction within this protected nature reserve is: white ‘sand’. The park occupies part of the Tularosa Basin. The surrounding mountains make it an endorheic (closed) basin. The appearance of White Sands National Park is dominated by white dunes. These do not consist of sand but of gypsum crystals. It is the largest gypsum field in the world. You can explore the White Sands National Park by car, but you can also take a number of walks there. Make sure to protect your eyes during such a walk against the potentially bright sunlight that is reflected off the white dunes and plains. Also protect the skin sufficiently against burns,

Within the White Sands National Park there is a cold steppe climate (type BSk), which, based on the relatively small amount of precipitation, is on the edge of the drier cold desert climate (type BWk). On an annual basis, the precipitation sum is about 220 to 240 millimeters on average. During the winter it is even drier than in the summer. You can’t really call the wettest months (July, August and September) wet, but the last and first months of the calendar year are mainly dry in the White Sands National Park. When precipitation falls in the middle of winter, it is sometimes in the form of snow.

Temperatures vary quite widely within a year. In winter, the average afternoon temperature is about 10 to 18 degrees, while the minimum temperature dips a few degrees below freezing on average. Summer days are downright hot. The maximum temperatures in June, July and August are around 35 to 38 degrees. Even in May and September it still gets tropical warm in the White Sands National Park. Then the maximums are on average around 31-32 degrees. You do notice that it cools down a bit further at night. The temperature differences within the same 24-hour period can then be large. If you go out early, it is better to dress in layers so that something can be removed as soon as it gets warmer in the morning.

White Sands National Park