If you’re planning a trip to New Mexico, you may be wondering whether it really does snow in the state. You may also be curious about what the weather is like in the state during winter, and if you need to bring an extra layer of clothing with you on your vacation.
The climate of New Mexico is mild, arid, or semi-arid. This type of climate is often characterized by abundant sunshine, light precipitation totals, low relative humidity, and a relatively large diurnal and annual temperature range.
The majority of snowfall falls in Northern and Central New Mexico, with up to 40 inches (1026.5 millimeters) falling each year. The southern part of the state receives less snowfall, owing to its lower elevation.
New Mexico’s climate is dominated by the westward movement of Pacific Ocean storms. In winter, these storms move from west to east, bringing significant moisture to the state. This moisture is primarily deposited over the western slopes of the Continental Divide and over mountain ranges in northern and high central New Mexico.
The northern part of the state is a cold place to be in the winter, with snow accumulating up to 21 inches (533.4 millimeters) at higher elevations. This amount can be accompanied by ice, which is common on mountain summits during this time of the year.