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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 first snowfall climatology for locations across New Mexico (1991-2020), including the earliest on record and the average first dates. Place your cursor over a location to view the data. For a tabular view of the same data shown below, click here. Snowfall records are incomplete at some locations and may not provide an accurate depiction of the more recent changes in the climatology for the period from 1991 to 2020.

For helpful tips on preparing for snow and staying safe this winter please visit: Winter Weather Safety

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. (ft)  Earliest Average First 2022
5300 October 5, 2004 November 27 October 24
6120 October 17, 1999 November 26 December 29
S. Valley
4955 October 26, 2020 December 8 --
Los Lunas
4840 October 12, 1986 December 18 February 15 (2023)
5015 October 12, 1986 December 3 November 5
Estancia 7N
6140 September 24, 1913 November 20 --