Monsoon Clouds

With over 300 days/yr of sunny skies in New Mexico, clouds are a big deal.  Clouds signal the monsoon and are hopeful signs of the summer rains so important to renewing the landscape and providing water to the aquifer on which residents depend.  On an active monsoon day clouds begin forming early, frequently just after sunrise, they build and scattered rains can be seen around the valley.  These clouds dissipate and sunny skies return.  Later in the afternoon the process begins again.  Clouds begin to build, frequently over Portal Peak, and a second round of showers begin which last till after dark.  These moisture laden cumulus clouds are illuminated by the setting sun creating stark contrasts of light and shadow which stretch across the valley creating beautiful sunsets.

monsoon cloudscape
Monsoon clouds over the San Simon Valley


  1. Sure some beautiful sunsets in southwest New Mexico, the clouds are always interesting to watch during monsoon season.

  2. Breathtaking scenes are everywhere in the San Simone Valley. They should have never broke it it with a state line down the middle!

  3. Having the state line between New Mexico and Arizona run down the middle of the valley does have its drawbacks, like daylight savings time, but it does make Rodeo, New Mexico's most western town.