In this final post of the 2022-2023 season, we relive some of the most memorable storm cycles and sum up the season from a snowpack perspective. It was a season we won't soon forget and perhaps one for the record books at Ski Santa Fe with the 40 inches in 48 hours Valentine's Day storm. Thanks for a great season and see you for 2023-2024!
I am stoked to share this final 2022-2023 season wrap-up post, in which you will find:
- Final 2022-2023 takeaways
- Memorable storm cycles and moments
- My gratitude and parting thoughts
- Announcements: don't forget our summer weather forecasting service!
To see the short-term forecast through the end of April and also read about the prognosis for El Niño going forward see my post from April 21st.
Final 2022-2023 takeaways
For the northern mountains, the 2022-2023 snowpack was the best since the 2018-2019 season and overall finished well above the median snowpack dating back to 1991. We are fortunate to have SNOTEL sites directly situated within three of our New Mexico resorts (Taos, Santa Fe, Ski Apache) which allows us to take a quick statewide snapshot of the season versus the historical record going back to 1991.
Ski Santa Fe had a stellar 2022-2023 season on par with 2018-2019, and not too far off in early March from the best season since 1991, as shown here.
The Jemez and Pajarito also had one of the best seasons in recent years. We don't have a SNOTEL site directly within Pajarito but OpenSnow is able to take an average of the closest sites in the Jemez and we see that Pajarito enjoyed above-average snowpack from mid-February through early April.
Taos Ski Valley enjoyed a very solid year though not quite on par with the memorable 2018-2019 season. But this season's steady February and March snowfall really set it apart from the La Niña seasons of 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
Sipapu closely measures and tracks its own resort snowfall data and 2022-2023 stacked up quite nicely, beating out 2018-2019 but well short of the 2004-2005 season that was most snow in last 20 years.
2018-2019 season = 181"
2020-2021 season: 157"
2017-2018 season = 68.5"
2004-2005 season = 239"
The southern mountains faired a little better than the previous two seasons but still came in below-average snowpack. We expected another challenging season for the southern mountains as the southern half of the state almost always takes the brunt of La Niña. But after two of the driest seasons on record in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, this season was a much-needed rebound.
We had more storm cycles in 2022-2023 and a much snowier January and March than in 2021-2022 or 2020-2021. This season we had approximately 12 storm cycles that produced over 5" of snow in the northern mountains, compared to only 7 storms producing over 5" in 2021-2022. We also benefited from strong snowfall in January and March this year, months that we struggled in last season. Huge thanks to Taos Ski Valley's Ski Patrol Weather Site for this data.
Below is the 2021-2022 season of storm cycles which was a lean but mean year, compared to more frequent and spread-out storms with 2022-2023.
2022-2023 Memorable storm cycles and moments
This season we had four modest storms in November and December which helped pave the way for on-time resort openings. However, a holiday dry spell kept terrain limited at the start of 2023 and we didn't have our first legit powder day until mid-January.
There was no shortage of deep powder this season through the months of January, February, and March.
No January doldrums this year!
A very active January jump-started the season and we never looked back.
Mid-February cycle delivers stoke statewide and 40" in 48 hours at Ski Santa Fe
I have yet to verify if the 2023 Valentine's Day storm cycle set a 48-hour record for snowfall at Ski Santa Fe with 40 inches. I would have to think it is at least in the top 3 all-time.
This storm delivered the quintessential Angel Pow.
The Valentine's Day storm cycle was one to remember across all mountains.
Pajarito enjoyed deep earn-your-turns.
Followed by a bonus lift-accessed powder day for the resort opening two days later!
All aboard the February storm train!
Additional refreshes and a solid storm just one week later elevated the 2022-2023 season into the realm of epic.
A March for the Ages
Sipapu celebrated their 70th season with plentiful powder in February and March, including 20" in 24 hours for "St. Powder's Day" on March 17th.
We ran out of adjectives in the month of March.
Couldn't stop. Wouldn't stop.
March was just so so good.
Oh, and remember the bluebird leftovers and face shots?
Cold temperatures kept the side and backcountry snow quality in the drool department. Hang this in the Louvre.
Five consecutive days of modest snow in late March produced sneaky good powder days.
The snow switched off in April but excellent snowpack prevailed
The unbelievable storm train in March came to a rather abrupt end as April rang in. But the above-average snowpack and periods of cooler temperatures in the high country prevented a full-on rapid melt.
The lift-accessed season finished strong with April skiing more like February in the high elevations.
Deep snowpack remains in the north-facing and wind-loaded backcountry zones and should enjoy corn harvesting and spring skiing and riding well into May 2023.
Some of our local neighbors weren't too sad with the snow stopping in April, seeking out the melted, sun-soaked patches on Kachina Peak to warm their bum after a long, cold, and snowy winter in the Land of Enchantment.
My gratitude and closing thoughts
Thank you 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 constructive feedback, snow reports, photos, corrections, and support this season.
Thanks for the enthusiastic hellos and conversations in the lift line for first chair or on the chairlift comparing notes on the storm.
As we bid farewell to the 2022-2023 season, I reflect on the "beauty on beauty" personal anecdote that I shared in mid-March. I was very touched to receive dozens of notes from readers about the story and sentiments that I shared and how the "beauty on beauty" reframe also helped produce a paradigm shift for them as well.
So thanks again to this anonymous snowboard instructor who appeared out of Thunderbird Glades to share the gift of gratitude and appreciation for all that is beautiful in life, even when challenges arise or the storm busts.
Have a great rest of spring, summer, and fall. I will be back in November for the 2023-2024 season.
¡Viva la nieve!
¡Viva Nuevo México!
Don’t forget that every OpenSnow All-Access subscription is good for 365 days.
- Forecasts Anywhere on Earth
- Live & Forecast Radar
- Wildfire Smoke Forecast Maps
- Estimated Trail Conditions
- Hourly Lightning Forecasts
- Historical Weather
- Offline Satellite & Terrain Maps
That means you can use OpenSnow to track the freeze/thaw cycle for corn snow and peak-bagging this spring, avoid lightning and wildfire smoke this summer, escape to the desert next fall, and find every powder day next winter.
Spring Avalanche Conditions from the Taos Avalanche Center
Check out the general spring avalanche conditions write-up from the Taos Avalanche Center for your backcountry excursions.
New Mexico Geography Key
→ Red River, Taos Ski Valley (north side of northern mountains - Sangre de Cristos)
→ Angel Fire (northeast side of northern mountains - Sangre de Cristos)
→ Sipapu (middle of the northern mountains - Sangre de Cristos)
→ Ski Santa Fe (south side of the northern mountains - Sangre de Cristos)
→ Pajarito (southwest side of the northern mountains - Jemez)
→ Sandia Peak (Sandias)
→ Mt. Taylor backcountry (San Mateos)
→ Ski Apache (Sacramentos)
→ Ski Cloudcroft (Sacramentos)