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Albuquerque is an incredible and diverse city to visit. But...the climate is very different from what most of the world is used to. It is dry, high and very sunny! Travelers should be aware of a few things that will make their stay here even better.
The humidity can drop to single digits any time of the year. Even the double digits days are in the low numbers. It is important to keep hydrated at all times, but not with beer and margaritas. Drink lots of water! Protect your skin with lotion after bathing and use lip savers.
Albuquerque is in the high desert, and with that said there are a lot of considerations especially for people from lower elevations and sea level. The middle of Albuquerque is a mile high and the foothills of the Sandia Mountains on the east side of town are 6,000+ feet above sea level. The lower areas downtown and in the valley average around 4,900+ ft.
In the high desert, it is not unusual to see 30 to 40 degree temperature swings in a 24 hour period. In fact...it is the norm at all times of the year in Albuquerque. Cool mornings and evenings - hot afternoons. Bring appropriate clothing and expect to dress in layers, especially in the Spring, Winter and Fall. If you are headed into the mountain areas be aware that it is even higher and cooler there, and temperatures at night in mid summer can dip below freezing.
So many travelers to this area are not aware of the elevation. Higher elevation mean less atmosphere. It is a good idea to let your body adjust. Altitude sickness does not discriminate between men, women, age or health, and can ruin a vacation. An adjustment time of at least twelve hours for the healthy is suggested. If you suffer from any kind of respiratory ailment it may take up to 48 hours. The worst thing you can do it test yourself by hitting the trails in the foothills, taking the Tram ride up to Sandia Peak, (over 10,000 ft above sea level), or hopping in your car to drive up there within hours of landing. Of course - some people can handle it, but don't put yourself to the test. It can be a big mistake. There are many other fun things do do when you first get to Albuquerque. Go have a margarita, (and a glass of water!). Hit the hills mañana.
Less atmosphere and an average of over 350 days of the sun shining is a deadly combination for skin issues. Skin cancer statistics in New Mexico are staggering. Always wear sunscreen. Always wear a hat outdoors. Always - Always.
Don't let this report scare you. The climate is very user-friendly to travelers who come prepared. Don't forget to bring your sunglasses, and don't leave things that can melt on the dashboard of your car. Don't leave anything that can melt in the car in the summer!