**Updated 3/30/2014** New Mexico Severe Weather Climatology Page
What Types of Severe Weather Can I Expect in New Mexico?
- Severe thunderstorms are defined by the National Weather Service as those producing large hail ≥ 1 inch in diameter, wind gusts ≥ 58 mph, a flash flood or a tornado. Prior to January 5, 2010, the criterion for severe hail was 3/4 inch in diameter.
- Severe thunderstorms, particularly those that produce giant hail (2" or greater) and/or tornadoes, are most common across central and eastern New Mexico from April through July. However, all 33 counties in the state have experienced severe thunderstorms at some time during the year. Tornadoes have been verified in most New Mexico counties.
- New Mexico also experiences a secondary peak in large hail and tornado reports during the fall.
- The highest risk of tornadoes is across the eastern plains from April through July. However, tornadoes have been documented every month EXCEPT November, January and February.
- New Mexico has averaged about 10 tornadoes per year since 1980.
- New Mexico experiences mostly weak, short-lived tornadoes. Strong tornadoes, while rare, are possible and occur about once every 10 years.
- New Mexico's complex terrain favors the formation of numerous small landspouts, a weak and short-lived variation of a tornado similar to a dust devil. Landspout tornadoes can and do form without the presence of a strong thunderstorm.
- Hail with flash flooding becomes a threat for central and western New Mexico from June through September.
Here are some more tornado and hail facts for New Mexico...