The climate of Albuquerque, the largest city of New Mexico, is arid semi-continental, with quite cold winters and hot summers, and a few rains, more likely in the summer months.
The city is located at 35 degrees north latitude, on a plateau. The center is at 1,500/1,600 meters (4,900/5,200 feet), but the eastern districts, which are located at the foot of the Sandia Mountains, reach up to 1,900 meters (6,200 feet).
The average temperatures ranges from 2.5 °C (36 °F) in December and January to 25.5 °C (78.5 °F) in July. Here are the average temperatures.
Albuquerque - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-3-126111619181481-3
Max (°C)8111621263132312721138
Min (°F)273036435261666457463427
Max (°F)465261707988908881705546

Precipitation is scarce, as it amounts to just 240 millimeters (9.5 inches) per year. Albuquerque is located in the northern part of the Chihuahuan Desert, which in the summer, sometimes receives humid currents from the southwest, from the Gulf of California. For this reason, summer is the rainiest season. Here is the average precipitation.
Albuquerque - Average precipitation

In winter, it sometimes snows every year, but being that it is a dry season, generally it doesn't snow much. On average, 24 centimeters (9.5 in) of snow fall per year. Snow is more abundant in the eastern part of the city (Sandia Heights), not only because it is located at a slightly higher altitude, but also because it is more humid: precipitation amounts to 415 mm (16.3 in) per year, and snowfall to 67 cm (2.2 feet).
Even though the temperature is normally acceptable (at night, it drops a few degrees below freezing), sometimes there may be cold spells, in which the night minimum can go down to -20 °C (-4 °F). In January 1971, it even went down to -27 °C (-17 °F).
Spring is windy, with possible sand and dust storms, and little rain.
In summer, June is often the month with the highest temperatures (sometimes, even 38/40 °C or 100/104 °F), generally at the end of the month, but it'is still torrid (ie hot and dry). In June 1994, 41.7 °C (107 °F) were reached.
In July and August, there is a certain increase in humidity, which makes the heat more sultry.


Albuquerque is a very sunny city: the sun shines for as high as 3,400 hours a year. Even in winter, the sun shines 75% of the time. The sunniest month is June, before the summer rains arrive. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Albuquerque - Sunshine

As we said, there are mountains to the east of the city. Here are the average temperatures on the highest peak, Sandia Crest, at an altitude of 3,255 meters or 10,678 feet (the data refer to the period 1953-1979, when the climate was a bit colder).
Sandia Crest - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-10-10-8-4169850-5-9
Max (°C)-3-206121819171493-1
Min (°F)141418253443484641322316
Max (°F)272832435464666357483730

In one year, 585 mm (23 in) of rain fall, here too, with a maximum in July and August due to summer thunderstorms, but with more frequent snowfall in winter than in Albuquerque, for a total of as high as 295 cm (9.7 feet) of snow per year.

When to go

The best seasons to visit Albuquerque are spring and autumn, to avoid both the winter cold and the summer heat. You can choose for example the periods from mid-April to mid-May, and from mid-September to mid-October. Since spring is more unstable and windy, you can prefer autumn. However, the wind can blow in all seasons.
To visit the high mountains, the best time is the summer (unless you want to ski), and in particular the month of June, because it is drier than July and August.