The Weather Rating © graph reflects the probability, on a scale of zero to ten, of warm, dry fully usable weather. (Alternatively, snowflakes represent fine skiing and winter sports opportunities requiring cold conditions). The weather score is the average Weather Rating for the year (derived from detailed monthly weather data for each town). Santa Fe's weather ranks well above the nation as a whole. As further good news, the months of December through February, when the weather is seriously cold and snowy, offer skiing and other winter sports to make the brisk weather a feature to many active residents.
Santa Fe is located at the edge of the vast Rio Grande basin amid gentle piñon pine-covered foothills of the southernmost Rocky Mountains. Although it is one of the highest cities in the nation, there is a pleasant four season climate because of the southern location and sheltering peaks. Winters are relatively mild in town, yet a major ski area is only a short drive away in the mountains.
The best weather usually occurs in spring and fall. Then, the town is relatively uncrowded, and an invigorating crispness in the air is enhanced by the smell of piñon pine and juniper burning in thousands of kiva fireplaces. In fall, the crispy, brightly colored leaves on trees and sidewalks make strolling downtown and along Canyon Road the favorite pastime.
Summer is the busiest season. Hot days are relieved by frequent showers. Special events like rodeos, festivals, and fiestas are almost continuous. Nearby, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains offer a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities.