Throughout its four distinct seasons, Albuquerque’s weather is generally pleasant. Even on snowy or rainy days, sunbreaks occur often. These sunny days tally up to 280 a year. The high desert surroundings can bring wide temperature swings throughout the day so, it’s always good to have a jacket handy no matter what the forecast says.
Summer is warm, but not scorching hot as it can be in other popular Southwestern cities; average highs in Albuquerque reach 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) in July, though some times daily highs will creep above 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). July and August typically bring afternoon thunderstorms. It’s the rare occasion when humidity can be felt in this arid climate. Winter temps average in the mid-40s Fahrenheit (7 degrees C). Snow does fall here—the city sits at more than 5,000 feet—but snowstorms rarely bring more than a dusting.
Albuquerque sits at the base of the Sandia Mountains, and the peaks can experience vastly different temperatures than the city below. If you’re planning an excursion to the summit, plan for it to be much windier and at least 10 degrees F cooler than at the base.
Thanks to its moderate climate and easy-going winters, Albuquerque is a year-round tourist destination. Here’s what you need to know when planning your trip.
Fast Climate Facts
- Hottest Month: July (90 F)
- Coldest Months: December (46 F)
- Wettest Month: August (1.8 inches)
- Windiest Month: May (9 mph)
Summer in Albuquerque
Summer is a moderately popular time to visit Albuquerque. Because afternoon temperatures can climb into the mid-90s Fahrenheit (35 degrees C) and even top 100 degrees F (38 degrees C), many activities are bookended around the heat. People head out for hikes in early morning and attend outdoor concerts after the sun sets. The riverside forests, aka the bosque, are popular places to cool off. The centuries old cottonwoods form a shady canopy over the trails there and cool air drifts off the river.
What to pack: Bring shorts, T-shirts, sandals, and a reusable water bottle for the summer desert heat. Sunny days mean sunglasses and sunscreen are a good idea in every season. Have an umbrella or waterproof jacket available in July and August to fend off thunderstorms.
Fall in Albuquerque
Fall is Albuquerque’s most glorious season. Coincidentally, it’s also the city’s most popular tourist season, with the rise of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Daily temps stay warm but not overly hot through early October. Since evening temps can dip into the 40s Fahrenheit (4 degrees C) this time of year, autumnal color shades the city, particularly along the river where cottonwood trees blaze golden. Trick or treaters can often encounter snow on Halloween, at the end of October.
What to pack: During the day, pants and short-sleeve shirts will suit the highs. Some hardy folks will wear shorts even on cool mornings, but most people opt for light jackets. Layering is always a good way to go.
Winter in Albuquerque
Winter is Albuquerque’s coldest season. Daytime highs only reach the mid-40s Fahrenheit (7 degrees C) , while evening temps cling to the 20-degree F (-7-degree C) mark. Although most snowstorms call for a broom to clear walks rather than snow shovels, occasional storms can dump almost a foot of snow on the city. With its typically robin’s egg–blue skies even this season, the snow usually melts within a day. The snowfall is heavier in the nearby Sandia Mountains. Snowshoe trails trace the peaks and ski runs carve the back side of the mountain. The season extends to March, though late-season skiers may find more ice than fresh powder that time of year.
What to pack: Pack a jacket, hat, gloves, and closed-toed shoes. Most locals opt for wool coats or down jackets. Layer with sweaters and long-sleeved tops underneath. With sunny days even in winter, sunglasses are also handy.
Spring in Albuquerque
March ushers in warmer temps, though cold weather—and even snow storms—can disrupt this trend well into April. Spring blooms prevail at the ABQ BioPark Botanical Garden in March and April. Flurries this time of year are likely made of petals, as the strong winds whip delicate flowers off fruit trees. Gusts, sometimes up to 60 mph (96 kph), can make the season feel cooler than the temperature gauge will suggest. In the mountains, snow still hugs the hiking trails through May.
What to pack: A jacket or windbreaker will help keep the spring gusts at bay, but long pants and short-sleeved shirts will suit most times.
|Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours|
|Month||Avg. Temp.||Rainfall||Daylight Hours|
|January||47 F||0.4 inches||10 hours|
|February||53 F||0.5 inches||11 hours|
|March||61 F||0.6 inches||12 hours|
|April||69 F||0.6 inches||13 hours|
|May||79 F||0.5 inches||14 hours|
|June||88 F||0.7 inches||15 hours|
|July||90 F||1.5 inches||14 hours|
|August||87 F||1.8 inches||13 hours|
|September||81 F||1.1 inches||12 hours|
|October||69 F||1.0 inches||11 hours|
|November||56 F||0.6 inches||10 hours|
|December||46 F||0.5 inches||10 hours|