Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer in New Mexico

A New Mexico summer sky - on New Mexico Hwy 14 to Santa Fe

A lot of people think New Mexico is like Arizona - hot and desert-like.  Some people even picture saguaro cactus when they think of New Mexico.

Sahuaro cacti in Sabino Canyon, Tucson, Arizona
To set the record straight, there is not a single saguaro cactus in New Mexico - they only grow in Arizona.  

New Mexico is #2 (after Arizona) for the most days of sunshine of all the United States.  But, it is a whole lot cooler than Arizona in the summer.

Most of New Mexico is mountainous,  high plains and buttes over 5000 ft. above sea level.  Our most famous desert is the beautiful National Monument of White Sands.

White Sands National Monument (NPS photo)
The most southern portion of the Rocky Mountains extends into northern New Mexico where the highest point is Mt. Wheeler, 13,161 feet above sea level, about 15 miles north of Taos, NM "as the crow flies".  The lowest elevation of New Mexico is 2,842 feet above sea level, at Red Bluff Reservoir on the Pecos River.

Climate (All temperatures Fahrenheit)
Highest TemperatureThe highest temperature recorded in New Mexico is 122°, Fahrenheit. This record high was recorded on June 27, 1994 at Lakewood.
Lowest TemperatureThe lowest temperature in New Mexico, -50 °, was recorded on February 1, 1951 at Gavilan.
Average TemperatureMonthly average temperatures range from a high of 92.8 degrees to a low of 22.3 degrees.

(from: http://www.netstate.com/states/geography/nm_geography.htm) 

Where I live in central New Mexico (Albuquerque), we have 4 seasons that are reasonably mild with an average of 9.39 inches of rainfall and 10 inches of snowfall annually.  This year has been very unusual with much hotter weather in June with several days of 100+ temperatures and several weeks of 90+ temperatures.

Summer in New Mexico is a wonderful season for outdoors activities as long as you plan for some extreme weather events like sudden afternoon thunderstorms, strong wind gusts, and short sustained rainfalls that may include hail.  Take plenty of water and wear sunscreen when you hike or bike or are just going to be outside for a while because we have strong UV light and very low humidity.

For ideas of what to see or do in New Mexico, check out the State Tourism website.

Here are pictures of some of the places Ron and I have traveled to in New Mexico and where we've taken family:

San Jose de Gracia church at Las Trampas, NM

Vicki at the Taos Inn, Taos NM

Amanda at Cabazon

Wild horses at Arroyo Tonque, San Felipe Pueblo

Gerogia O'Keeffe Country, Abiquiu New Mexico

Abo ruins Salinas Pueblo Mission Trail National Monument

Valles Caldera National Preserve
Valles Caldera National Preserve

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Mass Ascension from Rio Rancho

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Ron at overlook of Rio Chama south of Vado Lake

Fendler's Sandwort  at Sandia Crest

View of Albuquerque from Sandia Mountains Crest (elevation: 10,678 ft)

Tailgating at the Santa Fe Opera

Anne on top of Sandia Mountains with a view of Albuquerque, Sandia Mountains Crest (elevation: 10,678 ft)

Hummingbirds at the Sandia Crest House

Anne's family visiting Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Inside Carlsbad Caverns 
Navajo Lake, NM

Ron and I camping at Navajo Lake State PARK