New Mexico Daily Snow

Heads up, there may be fresher snow! Read the latest New Mexico Daily Snow

By Julien Ross, Forecaster Posted 5 months ago September 15, 2023

First snow of 2023-2024 season!

Summary

The northern Sangres got a dusting of snow on Thursday, September 14th. Late Friday into Saturday another wave of precipitation will cross the northern mountains. Snow levels will be above 12,000 feet so keep an eye out for another dusting of snow around the Wheeler Peak Wilderness. The latter half of September could return to a drier and warmer pattern.

Short Term Forecast

¡Hola Nuevo México! I hope everyone had a great summer.

As the aromas of freshly roasted green chile fill the air, a few isolated splashes of yellow begin to emerge from the cottonwoods and aspens, monsoon-like storms arrive unfashionably late, and cool crisp dewy mornings return, I am awakening from a long hot, and dry summer hibernation.

Is anyone else feeling me?

Bring on Autumn and Winter, please!

Yes, it was only a dusting of snow accumulation, but that counts in my book as the first snow of the season. And with it, we officially kick off the 2023-2024 New Mexico Daily Snow. ¡Que viva!

Here was the view of Wheeler Peak from Taos' Highline cam on the afternoon of Thursday, September 14th.

And Highline Ridge.

Chalk it up. September 14th. 

How does this date compare with other recent years, you ask?

The 2022-2023 season was October 2nd and this was a more substantial accumulation.

The 2021-2022 season was October 1st and that was even more legit.

And many of us remember the famous 2020-2021 season which set a new state record for the earliest measurable snowfall on September 9, 2020.

October is usually when we see more than just a dusting of snow and hopefully that will be the case again this season.

For the short-term forecast, I only see chances for another high-elevation dusting around the Wheeler Peak Wilderness and maybe the Truchas Peaks area on Saturday.

Another wave of thunderstorms and showers will pass across the northern mountains late Friday into Saturday. Snow levels will be very high, above 12,500 feet. 

More importantly, the eastern half of the state will get another dose of moisture after a tough monsoon season.

Speaking of this year's bizarre monsoon season, if you want to geek out on what went down (or didn't) I recommend the CLIMAS podcasts out of the University of Arizona that covers New Mexico as well. They do a great job and it is a fun listen.

Extended Forecast

The wet and cool weather we have enjoyed the last few days could transition to a warmer and drier pattern in the latter half of September.

Here is the NOAA 8-14 day outlook for September 22-28 showing mostly below-normal precipitation and above-normal temperatures for the Land of Enchantment.

Not great news for making up the summer rainfall deficits. But it should be excellent weather for Aspen color viewing, autumn fly-fishing, mountain biking, and some late-season camping.

El Niño Update

NOAA just published the latest El Niño forecast on September 14th and we have a 95% probability of El Niño hanging around through January - March 2024. 

In October, I will devote a few posts to El Niño and what history tells us about potential implications for New Mexico's 2023-2024 snowfall season.

If you've read my New Mexico Daily Snow for the last 4 years, you know that I don't like to make any blanket predictions or statements or get too bummed or excited based on La Niña or El Niño. 

Generally speaking, El Niño patterns are more favorable for precipitation and snowfall in New Mexico and the southwest than La Niña patterns, but it is always more nuanced and there are always other factors at play that we cannot predict. We saw these nuances play out in the last two seasons when the northern mountains fared quite well and we climbed out of an extreme drought even amidst a moderate La Niña.

That being said, we survived three consecutive La Niña seasons and it will be a welcome shift to El Niño, especially for the southern half of the state that usually suffers the most during La Niña patterns. 

We will dig into this more in October!

I will also post as the weather warrants it, especially when we receive more early-season snowfall.

Thanks for reading!

Julien Ross
[email protected]

Announcements

New Mexico Geography Key

Northern Mountains
→ 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)

Central Mountains
→ Sandia Peak (Sandias)
→ Mt. Taylor backcountry (San Mateos)

Southern Mountains
→ Ski Apache (Sacramentos)
→ Ski Cloudcroft (Sacramentos)

About Our Forecaster

Julien Ross

Forecaster

Julien was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was introduced to skiing at age 7 through the public schools subsidized ski program at Ski Santa Fe. It was love at first turn and Julien has been chasing deep powder and good mogul lines ever since. Julien grew up fascinated by weather and studied physical geography with a focus on meteorology at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

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