Santa Fe Weather
Santa Fe Weather by Month
Santa Fe rests at an altitude of 7,000 feet and is nestled at the base of 12,000-foot mountains. Although we are a high mountain desert, our weather has four distinct but hospitable seasons. We receive an average of 14 inches of rain annually (heaviest in July and August) and enjoy 300+ days of sunshine a year (more than Florida!), with an average relative humidity comfortably below 50 percent. Evenings are cool even in summer, and winter generally brings snow for skiers. The rain showers of the summer monsoon season usually start up in the afternoon and last for an hour or two at most, leaving the rest of the day sunny and the evening pleasant and cool.
What to Wear in Santa Fe
January: Yes, it’s winter! You’ll need stout shoes or stylish boots to stay warm and dry, and a winter jacket is a must. Gloves are a necessity and definitely bring a hat, especially if your ears chill easily! Since the sun may be out, lightweight down is a good choice, and be sure to pack a least one sweater. And you can always warm yourself inside out by taking a chile-centric cooking class at the Santa Fe Cooking School, just say Muy Sabrosa!
February: There may still be snow, so your packing should still be winter-wear. On a nice day, a heavy sweater and down vest may be enough for a hike, but when evening comes, you’ll want headgear, gloves and winter jacket. Valentine’s Day is a good time to snuggle up by a fireplace for a romantic stay with your Best Friend, with a great deal for BFFs.
March: Spring is around the corner, so you can lighten up, although spring in Santa Fe is as changeable as it is elsewhere. Nights will still be truly cold, but sunny days may be fine with just a sweater and a light-weight polar-fleece or down vest. Gloves and a scarf will keep you warm if windy days blow through.
April: Sunny days can alternate with April showers or even a rare snowfall, so it is best to be prepared! The Inn has umbrellas, so don’t worry about schlepping it, but a warm yet light-weight jacket is still a good idea at night. Daytime temps allow for much lighter outerwear. Long, lightweight pants are better than shorts for walking downtown to the Santa Fe Plaza and the museums.
May: Okay, you can bring your Teva sandals for daytime now, but you may still want socks or warmer shoes at night. Your outerwear can be lighter, as long as you have long sleeves underneath for night-time. And you can bring the shorts too, but plan to change into warmer legwear after you walk around town sampling some of the best Santa Fe restaurants, as you Taste the City Different!
June: Summer has arrived! Summer clothes for day will do at this altitude, but evenings will still be cool. A light jacket or sweater will get you through most occasions, and shorts or a stylish and casual skirt will keep you cool in the daytime. Sandals are great, but you’ll do lots of walking, so make sure you’re thinking comfort as well as style. If the kids are out of school early, slather them with sunscreen and take them for an educational tour through northern New Mexico. Or bring the whole family to the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market!
July: Although a cool night at the Santa Fe Opera may still require a gorgeous shawl or handsome sport-coat, you should definitely bring your summer clothes. The summer monsoon season brings most of Santa Fe’s annual rain, but it usually blows through town in a hour or so, cooling the day down nicely. Sunscreen, a sun hat, and a t-shirt with sleeves will keep you from getting an unwelcome, 7000-foot sunburn.
August: Afternoon rains are still likely, but since it’s mostly hot and dry in the daytime, protect your skin from the altitude and the sun. Casual summer clothing or fancy attire for the Opera or Chamber Music Festival mean that packing an outfit that can dress-up or dress-down is a good option. It’s best to always have a light wrap handy at night. And your sturdy outdoor gear is a must if you plan to do some fly-fishing, rafting or hiking!
September: Autumn arrives and so does cooler weather. It may be like summer, or you may wish you had packed something warmer, so do that in advance. Yes to a light jacket, and if you are a “cold hands warm heart” person, bring a sweater too. Sandals are okay, but nice flat shoes will be fine without socks. Or you can pick up a cool pair of moccasins while you are here – they’ll fit nicely into a Santa Fe spiritual tune-up as you find your own spirit in Santa Fe.
October: You know you’ll want to be outside, because it’s so glorious now. Walking shoes, a warm but lightweight jacket, long pants and a scarf should all be in your suitcase when you unpack, and bring gloves if you plan to hike up in the higher country. Casual attire is Santa Fe-style, even for dining or visiting great museums like the O’Keeffe – especially when you’re out and about on your OK O’Keeffe adventure!
November: Snow is just around the corner, unless it hasn’t already made an appearance. Now you’ll need a real winter coat, even if you shed it over the back of a chair, and the gloves and hat and scarf will come in handy. Even with snow, Santa Fe streets dry up quickly if boots take up too much luggage space.
December: The last month of the year is not necessarily the snowiest month, but we always hope that the snowflakes will make an appearance for the holidays! You’ll need standard winter gear, inner-wear and outer-wear, and silk underwear makes a nice lining in case of a real cold snap. On a sunny day, you may get by with a wool sweater and a down vest, and on really sunny days, you may even be taking the vest off! Hat, gloves, scarf, boots? Yes, especially if you plan to walk around downtown to see the farolitos on Christmas Eve, a Santa Fe tradition!
Click here for Seasonal Activities in Santa Fe.