National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

map with locations of snowfall data

First Snowfall Dates For Many New Mexico Locales
Seasonal snowfall across New Mexico varies considerably, due largely to our unique topography. The lowest elevations are near 3,000 feet in the far southeast plains (around Jal), while the highest elevations tower above 13,000 feet (Wheeler Peak).  Higher elevation locations generally accumulate more snow and see snowfall earlier and later in the season than lower elevation locales.

We define "first snowfall' as the first occurrence of snowfall accumulation of 0.1 inch or greater during the season.  Generally, the first snowfall occurs earlier in the season across the higher elevations and northern locations of the state compared to southern locales.  The first snowfall often occurs late in the summer for many of the higher peaks in northern New Mexico.  In some years for many southern locations there is no snowfall, or the first snowfall occurs very late in the season.

The graphic below will display snowfall data for locations across New Mexico, including the earliest on record and the average first dates. Place your cursor over a location to view the data. An extensive table of first snowfall dates has been compiled for many locations across New Mexico. Periods of record are highly variable across the state and several sites contain some missing snowfall data within the official climate record.

Map of New Mexico With First & Average First Snowfall Dates


The table below shows the earliest on record and average first dates for locations around the Albuquerque Metro Area, as well as the first snowfall date in recent years.
Dates of the Earliest & Average First Snowfall Around the Albuquerque Metro Area
Location Elev Earliest Average
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
5310' Oct. 5,
Nov. 21 Dec. 2 Feb. 20
Nov. 28 Dec. 12 Dec. 13
6270' Oct. 17,
Nov. 26 Dec. 27

Jan. 20

n/a n/a Nov. 16
S. Valley
4955' Oct. 29,
Dec. 11 Dec. 2 n/a Jan. 1
Nov. 16 Dec. 17
Los Lunas
4840' Oct. 12,
Dec. 22 Nov. 12 n/a Feb. 13
n/a n/a
5026' Oct. 12,
Nov. 29 Dec. 2 n/a Jan. 6
Nov. 16 n/a