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How cold is it typically in Santa Fe in late December?

Chagrin Falls, Ohio
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How cold is it typically in Santa Fe in late December?

We are planning to fly in to Albuquerque and drive around Santa Fe/Taos for Christmas and the week through New Year's Eve.

Any comments, New Mexicans? I know it's hard to predict, but ..

Albuquerque, New...
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1. Re: How cold is it typically in Santa Fe in late December?

According to the "experts" at Intellicast.com weather,

your historic averages for the last two weeks in Santa Fe would be 43F. for a high, and 15F. for a low. Many people outside the region are shocked by the latter...after all, this "is" a high-desert area...but it is also a high-elevation area.

Last winter was a colder, and wetter one in Northern New Mexico than the previous two, so we had great snowfalls and skiing. This winter is "forecast" (and we know how accurate ttey can be sometimes, LOL) to be another "La Nina," rather than an "El Nino," which means a bit drier and milder than the "norm.".

Santa Fe and Taos are at higher elevations than Albuquerque, so you can probably add 5-10 degree higher temperatures on to Santa Fe's "averages" for here in Albuquerque Enjoy your visit...dress in layers!

Edited: 09 September 2010, 19:36
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
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2. Re: How cold is it typically in Santa Fe in late December?

Thanks so much for your expertise! We're planning on trading one cold weather city - Cleveland - for another! Just a slight difference in geographic beauty, though! (That's sarcasm.)

Albuquerque, New...
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3. Re: How cold is it typically in Santa Fe in late December?

Let me add a little because I don't think you'll find it Cleveland cold. It could be, but probably not. You'll want a parka, of course. I don't think the cold here in winter is as biting as other places. Usually no wind in the winter, for one thing. And the sun, and normally there's plenty of it, can be intense, even in the winter. Yes, can be cold if you're standing in the shade of the north side of a building next to unmelted snow. But in the sun at midday, you might easily want to shed that parka. And you won't see a trace of snow. So think layers. Add some exercise, like walking, and you'll want to shed another layer, too. The common winter witticism in Albuquerque is that on the same day you can be skiing in the mountains in the morning and playing golf in the afternoon. On the other hand, I can vividly remember a strenuous early morning, well-bundled winter run in the mountains that was so collllllddd that our sweat turned to icicles.

Santa Fe, NM
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4. Re: How cold is it typically in Santa Fe in late December?

Fear not! As a previous Buckeye, I say bring your mid-weight winter coats with sweater layers for underneath that can be adjusted over the course of the day. No lake effect here, and even on cold days the sun can feel quite lovely. In Santa Fe, expect some snow just to be on the safe side, especially if you're driving into the mountains. I'm typically snowshoeing on several feet of fluffy stuff by then.

Chagrin Falls, Ohio
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5. Re: How cold is it typically in Santa Fe in late December?

Thanks, former Buckeye! I feel much better. Since living in The Cleve since 1980, we are all pretty snow-hardy, though not downhillers. I look forward to discovering the NM beauty. Appreciate your input.

Rochester, NY
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6. Re: How cold is it typically in Santa Fe in late December?

I'm sure not a New Mexican, but I can comment on LAST December. I was out there for Christmas week to watch the Pueblo dances. (It was an Elderhostel, now called Road Scholar, tour... and wonderful)

It was DARNED cold! I'm from Rochester, NY... you know... up near Buffalo? I'm very used to snow and cold weather...but! We all had at LEAST three layers on and were still shivering. Of course, we were standing outside watching the dancers (who did NOT have 3 layers on!) for about 3 hours at a time.

It was still magical and beautiful, however! Enjoy.

Lynn in Rochester NY

Taos, New Mexico
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7. Re: How cold is it typically in Santa Fe in late December?

A couple of things to add:

1. Humidity in your part of the world is high. Cold temperatures bite through the skin and down to the bone. Humidities in New Mexico are always low, thus the cold temps are less brutal. After we quickly get used to the colder temps here in Taos, we're running around in one layer.

2. Taos is 2 weather zones away from Albuquerque and one from Santa Fe. It's surrounded by higher mountains and is just further north enough that we often experience winter weather here when neither Santa Fe or Albuquerque have anything. I've noticed a BIG difference when it comes to snow having lived in each of the three locations. Taos gets a LOT more. But, Taos also plows its streets religiously. The Town even plows the one-lane streets around the historic district each time a snowfall occurs.

8. Re: How cold is it typically in Santa Fe in late December?

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