Does It Snow in Mexico? (The Surprising Answer!)

Is there snow in Mexico? Instinctively, most people may think that it does not snow in Mexico due to its deserts, cacti, endless sunshine, and picture perfect beaches. But we’re going to surprise you with the fact that yes, it DOES snow in Mexico! You just need to know where to look.

Mexico is a northern hemisphere country and is approximately 760,000 square miles long. In comparison to other countries, Mexico is the thirteenth largest country in the world. 

Does a country this big have snowy areas? The answer is “Yes”. Mexico, a country located in the southern part of North America, has various biomes. Light snow may be found outside of higher altitudes, but if you desire significant snowfall, you have to visit one of Mexico’s mountain ranges, volcanoes, or plateaus. 

Despite the lack of snow overall in comparison to other countries, Mexico does offer various snow activities during the winter months of December and January. 

snow in mexico
Nevado de Toluca mountains in Mexico

Learn more about Mexico

Understanding Mexico’s Climate

Understanding Mexico’s climate is key to knowing why it snows in Mexico has different answers depending on where in Mexico you are referencing. Mexico has desert, temperate forests, tropical forests, and grassland biomes. A biome is an area that is classified by temperature, soil, vegetation, and wildlife. Naturally, one country can contain a lot of different biomes. 

Because of its many different biomes, Mexico contains a variety of different climates. Some places have hot, humid, and arid climates. Snow can occur in biomes with temperatures as low as 35.6 Fahrenheit or 2 degrees Celsius. 

For more information about Mexico Biomes, check out the Latin America & Caribbean Geographic’s website. They provide information on each region of Mexico, along with resources if you’d like to learn more. 

Biomes Found in Mexico

  • Deserts and xeric shrublands
  • Temperate coniferous forests
  • Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests
  • Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests
  • Mangroves
  • Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub
  • Flooded grasslands and savannas
  • Montane grasslands and shrublands
  • Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
  • Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests
  • Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands

The Tropic of Cancer divides Mexico into two Climatic zones. The temperate zone is in the north. The tropic zone is in the south. Snow in Mexico occurs mainly in the northern temperate zone, which is further from the equator. 

When does it snow in Mexico? 

Mexico is one of the few countries in Latin America that experiences four seasons a year. Mexico has wet and dry seasons. Spring and Fall are considered shoulder seasons. Spring is the season before the season in between dry and wet seasons. 

The wet season starts in May and ends in October. The dry season starts in November and ends in April. Fall is the shoulder season between the wet and dry seasons. 

Ironically, snow falls in Mexico’s dry season. Mexico does experience a brief winter season in December and January averages lows of 42.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow is uncommon in the majority of Mexico. However, some locations receive snow occasionally. 

Places like Madera in Chihuahua can have lows of -16.6 Fahrenheit. That is -27 degrees Celsius. Snow is not guaranteed in any location, but when it comes, many locations receive about 5 inches or less of snow. 

snow in mexico
Popocatepetl volcano is covered in snow during the winter

Where does it snow in Mexico?

When you think of snow, Mexico is one of the last countries to cross one’s mind. While snow is uncommon, snow in Mexico can happen. Snow is most likely found in the northern Mexican regions. 

Snow in the Mexico Mountains 

For snow in Mexico, look upward to their mountains and volcanoes. Center Mexico has 25 volcanoes. Only 7 of them are considered active and dangerous. Therefore, people have 18 volcanoes to choose from when searching for snow during the winter season. 

Areas with an altitude of 10,000 feet or higher have a greater chance of getting snow. Mexico is divided into 32 states. 12 of those states have weather conditions where snow can occur. The northern mountain ranges receive the most snow. Over 10 inches of snow can be found at the following peaks:

  • Iztaccihuatl – 5,230-meter volcano located within the Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park which lies between the State of Mexico and Puebla. 
  • Citlaltepetl – 5,636-meter stratovolcano located between Veracruz and Puebla. The highest mountain in Mexico. Third highest in North America. 
  • Popocatepetl – 5,426-meter active volcano. The second-highest mountain in Mexico. It is located in the states of Mexico, Puebla, and Morelos
  • Nevado de Toluca – 4,680 meter stratovolcano. The fourth largest mountain is located near Mexico City. 
  • Durango – Mountain range located in the state of Durango. The highest peak is Cerro Gordo, which is 3357 meters. 

Snow in Mexico City

Is there snow in Mexico City, Mexico’s capital city? Mexico City is surrounded by the Cordillera Neo-Volcanic mountains.  The Monte Alto range is on the west while the Monte Bajo range is on the east. Sierra de las Cruces lies southwest of the capital city. Despite having mountain ranges surrounding it, and becoming bitterly cold in the winter months, Mexico City rarely has snow. It has been around 50 years since it has snowed in Mexico City. 

The biggest factor in keeping snow out of Mexico City is the heat. Snow in Mexico City is not possible, because the city’s temperature does not fall below 42.8 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Snow in Mexiquillo 

If you are visiting Mexico in December or January, Mexiquillo is your best option for seeing snow in Mexico. The Pueblo Nuevo National park calls Mexiquillo home. Mexiquillo is located in the state of Durango which is located northeast of Mexico City. . Mexiquillo spans over 52 square miles. Mexiquillo is in a temperate forest biome. 

During December and January, the park is covered in light snow. The park has unusual rock formations created from magma that have a light dusting of snow on them. The sight is breathtaking and worth the visit. 

Mexiquillo is a great destination for adventurous hikers who want to see the frozen waterfalls and icy hiking trails. While walking through the snowy forest, families, and hikers can watch deer and wild boar roam free. The Mexiquillo backdrop makes the experience one-of-a-kind. 

snow in mexico
The snowy peaks of Pico de Orizaba in Mexico

Snow in Arteaga Coahuila

When talking about snow in Mexico, the Mexican Swiss is a must-see destination. Arteaga gets its nickname “Mexican Swiss” from its picturesque Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains whose snowy peaks remind the tourists of Switzerland. Arteaga offers hiking, relaxation, and ecotourism. 

If you are looking for skiing, tubing, or snowboarding in Mexico, Arteaga is a great option. The lowest temperature is around 46.6 degrees Fahrenheit from December through January. The town averages around 0.3 inches of snow. 

Arteaga is also a great destination for food lovers. The town has many preserved fruit stores where you can try the famed Arteaga Pueblo Magico red apples in the city of its birth. 

Snow in Sombrerete, Zacatecas

Sombrerete is a mining town located in the state of Zacatecas, which borders Durango. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the few places in Mexico where you can find snow. 

Like other snowy parts of Mexico, December to February is the best time to enjoy the snowfall in this Mexican city. Temperature can get as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Tourists pick Sombrerete when they want to experience snow-covered mountains as the backdrop of a historic town. In the 1600s, this town was referred to as New Spain. It still has a lot of that Spanish charm. During the winter months, many colonial buildings are snow-covered. 

Another local attraction is the protected rock formations of the Sierra de Organos National Park. 

Snow in Iztaccihuatl

Iztaccihuatl is the third-highest peak in Mexico. When the four highest mountains in Iztaccihuatl are covered in snow, they are referred to as the “White Woman”. The mountains create a silhouette of a woman sleeping. 

This is a great destination for hikers who want harder peaks. No beginner should start with this location. It is recommended to visit between December and February when it is colder and less rainy. This means activities such as snowboarding in Mexico can occur.

snow in mexico
Snow in Morelos, Mexico

Enjoying Snow in Mexico

All is not lost when looking for a snow adventure in Mexico. Skiing and snowboarding in Mexico are possible. 

Snowboarding in Mexico 

Monterreal Ski Resort brings a unique experience to snowboarding. If snowboarding in Mexico is a dream for you, Monterreal can make it happen. The ski resort uses real snow and snow machines to make snowboarding in Mexico possible. 

So if snowboarding in Mexico is on your bucket list, check out the Monterreal Ski Resort. Snowboarding is also a popular activity in Arteaga. 

Skiing in Mexico

Skiing is a given for most snowy areas. In Mexico, skiing is not the most popular sport in the snow areas. However, there is one ski resort in Monterreal that attracts tourists. Monterreal is located near Arteaga. The Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains surround Monterreal. 

During the winter season, tourists visit the highest ski resort Mexico has to offer. The ski resort consists of two slopes. The main slope is 230 meters long. The beginners’ slope is 45 meters long.  

Does it snow in Mexico? 

Does it snow in Mexico? Yes, it does, but you must know where and when to look for it! Visit the northern mountain regions between December and January to increase your chances of finding snow. 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *