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What Is Albuquerque's Annual Snowfall?

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Lantern in Snow © Aileen O'Catherine
Question: What Is Albuquerque's Annual Snowfall?
Answer: The annual Albuquerque snow allotment comes to an average of 11 inches per year. That statistic includes sleet and ice pellets, and is an average compiled over 63 years. Every 10 inches of snow equates to about one inch of rainfall, so in terms of precipitation, 11 inches sounds like more than it really is.

The snowfall readings were taken at the Albuquerque Sunport, where the city's official weather station is housed.

Measurements are given in inches. The average monthly snowfall for Albuquerque:

  • January 2.5
  • February 2.1
  • March 1.8
  • April 0.6
  • October 0.1
  • November 1.2
  • December 2.7

    Different parts of the city get more snow than other areas. For example, Edgewood and the east mountain areas tend to get more snow than the city.

    Snow Records
    The greatest snowfall for one day occurred in the winter of 1959. On December 15, 10 inches of snow fell on Albuquerque in a 24 hour period. The second largest one day snowfall took place on March 29, 1973, when 8.5 inches fell. Just a few days later, on April 2, 1973, another 6.6 inches fell. Albuquerque is known for its sudden spring snows, which cancel out many blooms on fruit trees.

    Probability of Snow
    Albuquerque is likely to get more snow in the month of December than any other month. April snows, or spring snows, are also more frequent than fall snows.

  • January 77%
  • Februrary 71.6%
  • March 72.4%
  • April 29.3%
  • May 4%
  • June 0%
  • July 0%
  • August 0%
  • September 0%
  • October 10.8%
  • November 45.9%
  • December 84%

    Albuquerque's annual probability of snow is 98.5%, so though the city is in the desert, it is the high desert. At about 5,000 feet above sea level, it can get cold. Probability of snow in the winter season is 100%, spring season is 80%, and fall season is 48.6%. So chances are, Albuquerque will get some snow each winter season.

    Top Ten Snowiest Years
    The annual snowfalls for Albuquerque's snowiest years have some surprisingly high numbers. Again, snowfall measurements are given in inches.

  • 1. 1973, 34.3
  • 2. 1959, 30.8
  • 3. 1992, 20.1
  • 4. 1986, 17.5
  • 5. 1974, 16.8
  • 6. 1990, 15.4
  • 7. 1987, 15.0
  • 8. 1975, 14.7
  • 9. 1979, 14.5
  • 10. 1988, 14.3

    When Albuquerque gets hit with sudden and severe winter weather, keep updated with important information on school closings, traffic reports and more.

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