New Mexico December 14, 2017
It’s Impossible To Forget These 5 Horrific Winter Storms That Have Gone Down In New Mexico History
Winter is a magical time of year filled with glittering snow, roaring fires, and… epic blizzards. While thinking of the charming images of winter can be wonderful, it doesn’t take long to remember it can also be a disastrous time of year. Here’s a look at some winter storms in New Mexico that turned into true disaster scenarios.
1. February 1956
Originally starting as a fairly mild winter storm over eastern New Mexico and western Texas, this grew into a full-blown blizzard. The storm occurred between February 1 and 5, dropping so much snow in the region that it broke a 50-year record and led to 18 deaths.
2. December 1967
The deadliest known snowstorm to strike New Mexico began around December 11 and blanketed the state in five feet of snow, with some areas receiving even more! The Navajo Nation was hit especially hard, stranding families in their homes as the snow reached rooftops. In extreme cases, the National Guard and Air Force airdropped supplies such as food, hay bales, and emergency kits outside homes once the storm began to let up. Overall, the storm led to 51 deaths.
3. December 2006
Starting on December 29, this particular snowstorm was one of the largest since the blizzard of 1967 and many of the occurrences mimicked it. The storm dropped between 11 and 100 inches of snow across the state over a period of three days and a state of emergency was declared in 12 counties.
4. December 2009
The highest wind gusts recorded in New Mexico occurred during this snow storm in early December. Gusts reached a high of 135 mph at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory near Socorro (before the instrument failed), and picked people off their feet in other areas!
5. December 2015
Another record snowstorm hit New Mexico during this storm that began the day after Christmas. It saw wind gusts peak at 82 mph and snow reached up to 41 inches high at Ski Apache in the two-day storm. There were also several reports of motorists getting stranded in the storm, where vehicles were pushed into embankments by the wind and snowdrifts piled up to 10 feet high.
If you want to read about more of these storms in greater detail, we recommend starting by reading about the blizzard of 2006 mentioned fourth on our list. Read more in
A Massive Blizzard Blanketed New Mexico In Snow In 2006 And It Will Never Be Forgotten.