New Mexico Daily Snow

2021-2022 Season Recap

Summary

From a pure numbers standpoint, the 2021-2022 season will finish way below normal snowpack statewide due to an abnormally dry November and April. From a skiing and riding standpoint, the 2021-2022 season in the northern mountains was pretty darn good thanks to epic mid-season storm cycles. In this post, we recap the season and celebrate memorable moments.

Update

I am pleased to share this final 2021-2022 season wrap-up post, in which you will find:

  • Final 2021-2022 takeaways
  • Memorable storm cycles and moments
  • My gratitude and parting thoughts
  • Announcements: don't forget our summer weather forecasting service, OpenSummit.

Final 2021-2022 takeaways

  • This was a pretty good season for the northern mountains considering it was a double-dip La Niña. From late December to late March we saw average to above-average snowfall in the northern mountains. This made for some excellent skiing and riding. The map below shows precipitation compared to historic averages during this three-month middle stretch of the season with lots of whites (normal) and some greens/blues (above normal) across the central mountain chain.

  • For the southern mountains, it was one of the worst snowfall seasons on record. The bolded black line at the very bottom of the graph below is this year's snowpack and the few storms that came through were just blips. The bright green line is the historic median. Unfortunately, we expected this because the southern half of the state almost always takes the brunt of the La Niña.
  • It was an extremely tough start and finish to the 2021-2022 snowfall season statewide, especially the finish in April. Snowfall in April has been 0% to 15% of normal from Ski Apache up to Red River and with this, the snowpack has been eviscerated. This sets the stage for a very bad wildfire season and will likely keep extreme drought conditions in place for much of the state.



    As a result of the dry November and extremely dry April, the 2021-2022 season overall will finish well below average as illustrated in this October 27 to April 27 precipitation vs historic normal map. The southern mountains will finish 10% to 30% of normal and the northern mountains around 50% to 70% of normal.

Memorable storm cycles and moments

We will remember this season as lean but mean: not many storms but the ones that came through delivered in a big way.

The holiday storm cycle saves the day

The five-day holiday storm cycle saved the early part of the season and helped get most terrain open in a hurry.

The early February storm cycle kicks off an amazing two-month stretch

The early February cycle brought 2 to 3 FEET across the northern mountains and conditions were off the charts.

We even had a guest of honor at Taos on February 3rd to sample the goods. 

Late February and early March stoke!

During this three-week stretch, we saw upwards of 40 to 60 inches of snow across the northern mountains. Conditions were all-time. 

This season I also visited our northern Sangre de Cristo neighbor, Cuchara Mountain Park, for the first time and I will definitely be back to this gem of a mountain and community. 

You can help the local nonprofit effort to revive and restore Cuchara's lift-accessed skiing and riding by donating to the Panadero Ski Corporation, a 501c3 organization.

My gratitude and closing thoughts

Thanks so much for reading and following the New Mexico Daily Snow this season and for being an OpenSnow subscriber. My gratitude to everyone who sent me feedback, snow reports, photos, corrections, and support this season!

Have a great rest of spring, summer, and fall. I will be back in November for the 2022-2023 season.

¡Viva la nieve!

¡Viva Nuevo Mexico!

JULIEN ROSS
[email protected]

Announcements

SUMMER FORECASTS:

As we transition from winter to summer, make sure to follow our summer service, OpenSummit, to always catch the best weather window for your next adventure.

Right now, OpenSummit forecasts are only available for U.S. locations but that will soon be changing and Canadian (as well as worldwide forecasts) will become available on OpenSummit by this summer.

With OpenSummit, you can quickly...

  • See if a trail is dry, wet, or snow-covered based on recent weather trends.
  • View color-coded risk assessment for rain, lightning, and wind.
  • Track smoke from wildfires and forecast this smoke for the next 2 days.

"If you are a person who likes to hike, bike, or just visit the high country and want to have the most accurate weather forecast at various elevations, OpenSummit is absolutely the best app." – Ed, iOS App Review

Try It → OpenSummit.com