Does it ever snow in Mexico?
Mexico is an enormous country. The vast size of Mexico means that its climate and weather conditions are highly varied and depend on location. The country is divided into temperate and tropical zones.
- Lands towards the north of the 23rd parallel experience lower temperatures during the winter months.
- Towards the south of the 23rd parallel, temperatures are fairly constant year-round and vary solely as a function of elevation.
The northern parts of Mexico generally receive less precipitation than the southern ones, resulting in varying climatic conditions across the country. In total, the climate in Mexico is regarded as pleasant all year long.
- From May to September, in the southern parts of Mexico, the climate is pretty warm and humid.
- From December to February, in some regions (in the North), temperatures can drop below zero.
Where is it possible to see snow in Mexico?
It snows in 12 of the 32 states almost every year. Mostly in the northern states and the highlands, especially at elevations and hill volcanoes above 3,000 m above sea level, where snow can reach up to 25 cm.
Mexico generally has a temperate climate, and snow is relatively rare. However, some regions in Mexico do experience cold temperatures and even snow, especially in higher elevations during the winter season.
In Mexico, the presence of snow is often associated with mountainous regions.
States like Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Zacatecas, which are located in the northern part of the country, have higher elevations and, as a result, are more likely to experience colder temperatures.
Snow can also be seen on the peaks of the mountains and volcanos in the Valley of Mexico, in the region of Pico de Orizaba (Puebla, Oaxaca, and Veracruz), and also in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in Michoacan.
When does it snow in Mexico?
Overall, Mexico’s climate is considered pleasant throughout the year.
Between May and September, the weather is relatively hot and humid, especially in the southern parts of the country, while in northern states the temperature can drop below freezing during the winter months.
While snow is rare in most regions of Mexico, in the northern states snow falls every winter. Snowfalls occur in areas 3000 m above sea level. Snow falls on mountain peaks and volcanoes, and its thickness can be up to 25 cm.
Snow is not guaranteed every winter, with some areas receiving only occasional snowfall while others receive less than 10 cm of snow. At some points in the northern states, snow falls relatively frequently.
Snowfalls can occur in states such as Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, and Nuevo Leon.
If you want to predict snow days well in advance for your vacations, you should try an online snow day predictor.
The destinations listed below are possibly the snowiest places you can visit in Mexico. So, bring a tent, blankets, food and warm winter clothes and boots because the cold in these places is no joke at all.
Monterreal in Coahuila state, is Mexico’s highest ski resort, which is located near the city of Arteaga. In the winter season, especially between December and January, Monterreal is often covered with natural snow.
Monterreal is one of the few places in Mexico where you can go skiing or snowboarding. The area also offers stunning views of the surrounding Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains. The ski center has two pistes:
- the main piste (230 m long)
- the beginner’s piste (45 m long)
Arteaga is a small town located on the outskirts of Saltillo.
Arteaga is known as the “Mexican Switzerland”. It is one of the few places in Mexico where it is possible to ski and snowboard. Stay here for the weekend to contemplate the snow-covered streets, houses, and the cathedral.
Copper Canyon, Chihuahua
Copper Canyon is one of the most stunning natural wonders in Mexico during the winter months. To visit the area, the best option is to board the famous Chepe Passenger Train and observe the Sierra Tarahumara from the train windows.
Chihuahua is one of the states that receive the most snowfall, especially in the Sierra Tarahumara region and the city of Creel, located three hours from the city of Chihuahua.
Creel is the most famous magical town on the Chepe train route that, if you visit it in winter, will show you snowy pines and waterfalls and frozen lakes. It doesn’t happen daily, but you could even see it snowing in the mountains.
Mexiquillo National Park is located in the west of the state of Durango (in the west of the Sierra Madre). Mexiquillo is the most visited natural site in the state and one of the most attractive.
Every year this place is filled with frost-covered trees, abandoned tunnels, and frozen waterfalls.
It is the ideal place to admire the snowy landscapes that nature offers. Adventurers and naturalists will revel in climbing and hiking the many trails of Mexiquillo National Park in their winter gear.
Sombrereteis an old mining town is full of charm, cobbled streets, picturesque orange quarry buildings, and churches that embellish its hills. Snowfall is abundant in December and January, with temperatures of up to -10 C (below zero).
Situated at over 2300 m above sea level, this “magic town” is draped in a blanket of white during the last months of the year. The town’s colonial buildings offer visitors a winter landscape rarely seen in Mexico.
In winter temperatures range between 0º and 18º. Conditions become more benevolent until the end of February.
The cold climate is due to the elevation of the municipality, although it should be noted that in the highest mining areas, the snowfall is constant in the months of December and January and temperatures of up to -10°C are recorded.
Nevado de Toluca, State of Mexico
For extreme adventure lovers, there is no better place than the Nevado de Toluca.
This stratovolcano, located just a few hours from Mexico City, provides visitors with the best winter has to offer. You can find everything from springs with transparent waters and temperate skies to challenging, snowy hikes.
La Malinche (Malintzin)
Located next to the Puebla-Tlaxcala Valley, La Malinche National Park provides a range of outdoor activities. The park welcomes mountaineers and hikers all year round. Its beauty is especially notable when it is covered in white.
Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl
These are two of the greatest natural wonders of Mexico. It is important to remember that, unlike other volcanoes on the list, these are not for beginners – it is better to explore them only if you already have some experience, especially the Popocatepetl.
Pico de Orizaba
Pico de Orizaba is the highest mountain in Mexico with the most spectacular snowy landscapes. Due to its dizzying heights and challenging terrain, this adventure is reserved for those who do not suffer from any type of vertigo.
Mexico City is located in a valley surrounded by large mountain ranges.
Snow has occurred only a few times in Mexico City’s entire history. These snowfalls are usually very significant events and are often accompanied by excitement and amazement from the residents.
The last time it snowed in Mexico City downtown was exactly on January 12th, 1967. That day, the reported snowfall was 5 cm in Mexico City’s downtown and the Historic Center’s surrounding areas.
The previous time it was snowing was just on March 5th, 1940. Other notable snowfalls in Mexico City occurred in 2007, 2016, and 2020, which brought light to moderate snowfall to various parts of the city.
Snowfall in Mexico City is a really rare event, although, on the outskirts of Mexico City, it snows every year on the high mountain peaks and volcanoes, with snowfall ranging from 12 to 25 cm in thickness.
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