Weather and Climate

Weather and Climate

Weather & Climate

Weather & Climate Topics

Thunderstorm at Albuquerque, New Mexico
A Thunderstorm After Dusk Approaches the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico

New Mexico Weather Safety

Families should be prepared for all hazards that affect their area. The National Weather Service (NWS), FEMA, and the American Red Cross encourage families to develop a family disaster plan.

The following guide will help you with information and safety tips on WEATHER hazards in New Mexico. A graph of weather hazards in New Mexico that resulted in injuries or deaths. Other hazards, such as earthquakes, are possible in our state.  Please gather information on all hazards, meet with your family, and create a plan. Once you have developed your plan, practice and maintain it.

One of the most important things that you can do is to assemble a disaster supplies kit containing:

  • First aid kit, including prescription medicines.
  • Canned food and can opener (not electric).
  • Bottled water (a 3-day supply--include one gallon per person per day).
  • One change of clothing and footwear per person.
  • One blanket and sleeping bag per person.
  • Rubber boots and rubber gloves.
  • Emergency tools, including a NOAA Weather Radio, battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • An extra set of car keys and a credit card or cash.
  • Any special items for infants, the elderly, or disabled family members.

Clear blue skies in New Mexico can change quickly and create life threatening conditions.  The National Weather Service Offices in Albuquerque, El Paso (Santa Teresa) and Midland remind you to always keep an eye to the sky and listen for the latest forecasts and warnings.  Weather tragedies can be prevented when you know and use the weather safety rules. (Weather Safety Preparedness)

More Resources

The following guide will help you with information and safety tips on WEATHER hazards in New Mexico. Other hazards, such as earthquakes, are possible in our state.  Please gather information on all hazards, meet with your family, and create a plan. Once you have developed your plan, practice and maintain it. (Weather Safety Preparedness)

Here you can find reviews of winter safety information, descriptions of the products used to convey winter threats, descriptions of the various types of precipitation that occur in the cold season, and the present climatology of various locations across New Mexico. (ABQ - Winter Weather Awareness Main Page)

Here is a repository of all severe weather conditions recorded in New Mexico including: Tornadoes, Hail, and Thunderstorms since the 1950’s, and Flash flooding Since the 1990’s. (Severe Weather Climatology for New Mexico)

Here you can find safety tups from the national weather service for all types of weather conditions including: Air Quality, Drought Safety, Floods, Space Weather, Sun(Ultraviolet Radiation), and Wildfires. (National Weather Service Safety Tips)

For all Northern and Central New Mexico weather visit (NOAA Weather Radio)

Snowy mountain road







Earthquake Guides

From EARTHQUAKES (USGS Report) and New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources 

Earthquakes are motions in the ground that are caused by the sudden movement of rock in the planet’s crust. When the rock fractures and breaks, it creates a fault on which earthquakes can form. Measuring the amount of energy released by an earthquake is called its magnitude, and how much ground shaking the earthquake causes in a particular location is its intensity. Not only do earthquakes result in the ground breaking and shaking, but they can also trigger other severe weather events, such as tsunamis, landslides, and avalanches.

Earthquakes in New Mexico

There are thousands of faults in New Mexico, but only a few of them have been active in the past 2.6 million years. Of the faults that have moved in recent geologic history, only 20 of them are considered truly active based on current evidence for “surface-rupturing” earthquakes within the last 15,000 years.

Several historic earthquakes in New Mexico occurred near Socorro, registered at estimated magnitudes of 5.76 and 6.18, both occurring in 1906. The largest historical regional earthquake was a 7.4-magnitude quake in Mexico in 1887, which was felt as far away as Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Currently, earthquakes in New Mexico happen at a much lower magnitude – around a 3 on the Richter scale – and are barely felt by the average person if at all.

New Mexico is not considered to be high risk for violent earthquakes, but do they still happen here? Earthquakes can and do occur in New Mexico - but often, the magnitude and intensity of them are so low, they are not felt by humans. For more information see Earthquakes in New Mexico). 


The LANL Research Library has created online resource guides to help people access core resources available in the major disciplines important at the Lab. Note: access to some of these resources are restricted to LANL personnel only. Contact your local library if interested in accessing these resources.

The Earthquakes guide includes:

  • Live earthquake feed from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
  • Significant works by LANL authors related to earthquakes and seismology.
  • Earthquake maps and seismic monitoring from all across the globe, including Earthquakes Canada and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.
  • Relevant databases and journals made available through the Research Library, as well as links to seismology labs in the United States.

Visit the full Earthquakes guide.


wildfire map

Wildfire Preparedness

The 2021 fire season is a month ahead of last year in New Mexico, now is the time to prepare.

Fire restrictions are coming – One stop resource:

Create defensible space at home:

  • Create breaks in vegetation with driveways, walkways or paths, and patios.
  • Clear vegetation from under stationary propane tanks. 
  • Keep lawns mowed to a height of 4 inches. 
  • Remove ladder fuels (vegetation under trees) so a surface fire cannot reach the crown. 
  • Space trees to have a minimum of 18 feet between crowns 
  • Tree placement should be planned to ensure the mature canopy is no closer than 10 feet to the edge of a structure. 
  • Tree and shrubs should be limited to small clusters of a few each to break up the continuity of the vegetation across the landscape. 

Prevent ignitions from chainsaws, mowers and other equipment: Ensure your equipment is in good working order. 

  • A Red Flag Warning indicates critical fir
  • e conditions - delay your plans. 
  • Have the proper tools – a shovel, fire extinguisher and water – readily available. 
  • Consider doing the work in the morning when weather poses less of a fire risk.
  • Make sure you have a burn permit, if required, and stay until the fire is dead out and ashes are cold to the touch.