Tuesday, April 5, 2016

D is for Desert (High Desert Climate, to be precise) #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

Albuquerque's climate is considered to be high desert. It has extremely low humidity levels, which makes even the heat of the summer where temperatures average about 90 degrees F bearable. At night in the summer, it's not uncommon for temperatures to swing lower by 40 or 50 degrees--if you go out, layers are a must.

Winter is dry for the most part, and definitely colder--sometimes just a sweatshirt will be adequate, and other times you'll need to bundle up. They do get snow, but it's more common in the Sandias.

A photo posted by Sarah Allan (@sarahallanauthor) on

Spring and autumn are more temperate, with pleasant temperatures and lovely weather.

Some folks ask if the weather is like it is in Arizona, and the answer is no, at least not in ABQ, because of the elevation. It doesn't get nearly as hot for as long as in a city like Phoenix, for example.

The elevation makes things challenging for some people--the city is at around 5,000 feet in elevation, but that goes up to about 6,500 in the Sandia foothills. If you're not used to the elevation, due to the thinner air, you might experience headaches and light-headedness during physical activity. Make sure to drink plenty of water--I've taken to carrying around a refillable bottle wherever I go. To feel "normal" here, it took me about four months. Before that, I didn't have headaches, but I did feel winded when carrying heavy things and going up stairs. I tired quickly when exercising, which was sometimes frustrating, but my body wasn't used to the limited oxygen.

Albuquerque averages over 300 days of sunshine (I've seen some estimates as high as 330 days per year), and UV rays are also stronger at higher altitudes, so definitely wear some sunscreen to avoid getting a sunburn. I wear a moisturizer with SPF in it each day.

xoxo Sarah


11 comments:

  1. Phew! Those are really harsh temperatures to live in. The elevation must be an issue for new comers but the locals must be quite well adapted.

    @yenforblue from
    Spice of Life!

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    1. It's not so bad once you get used to it. :-)

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  2. I remember when we lived in Santa Fe people warned us for the first few days to drink a lot of water and to take it slow to adjust to the altitude. What I did notice was how intense the sun was there being up higher; could get a sunburn quicker than at a lower altitude.

    betty

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    1. I have to be very careful not to burn because I forget that it's stronger up here. :-P

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  3. Hi Sarah, the difference between Albuquerqe and Kuantan, Malaysia where I live, is the humidity. We have equally high temperatures coupled with a 90% humidity rating. It's unbearable at the best of times

    Open Minded Mormon A-Z

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    1. Oh, man! I lived in Arkansas for a few years and it had some unbearable humidity too, but I'll bet Malaysia is worse!

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  4. I spend a considerable amount of time in Dubai which is of course surrounded by desert and the climate sounds very similar to that of Albuquerque. I avoid mid summer!

    Today my story features 3 obscure D words

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    1. It is pretty toasty in the summer, but it's not terrible if you can find shade.

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  5. sounds lovely but not for me altitude is not for me - began back in my 40s with the Grand Canyon left me prostrate and gasping like a landed fish has got increasingly worse as I aged - but it must be a beautiful place to live:)

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    1. It definitely takes some getting used to!

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  6. I'm not going to lie, I thought it said "Dessert" at first (wishful reading). Lol. I've heard that it does get pretty cold at night and that you can see all the stars in the NM desert. It's on my Bucket List!

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