NM DOT plow trucks clear snow from a construction zone, Jan. 2023 (NMDOT)


This week brought trick or treaters and the first sub-freezing temps to central New Mexico.

Those freezing temps came earlier than normal, according to the National Weather Service’s almanac of fall freeze dates. So does that mean more cold (and maybe snowy?) weather is on the way? It depends where in New Mexico your winter plans take you.

The West, including New Mexico, is gearing up for what is predicted to be an El Niño winter season in 2023-2024. El Niño, the warm phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, is known to bring about significant changes in normal weather patterns. For central New Mexico, “El Niño winters typically produce more precipitation” say forecasters in the NWS Albuquerque office.

Your chances of finding precipitation increase as you move into north and eastern New Mexico, say forecasters. That’s potentially good news for mountain ski resorts and overall snowpack that feeds the Rio Grande and acequias across the region.

Overall, this winter is set to be slightly wetter with normal temps. At least that’s the forecast so far.

New Mexico's Guide to El Niño Winter 2023-2024
Stay Safe and Prepared: New Mexico’s Guide to El Niño Winter 2023-2024 (NWS Albuquerque)

Follow the National Weather Service’s Albuquerque office online for daily and seasonal forecasts.