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The Viticulture program at the Department of Extension Plant Sciences is currently focused on meteorological research with respect to grape varieties for Northern and Southern New Mexico.

Weather and climate are important aspects of growing grapes for vine production.

  • Temperature
  • Wind Speed
  • Wind direction
  • Humidity
  • Precipitation
  • UV Exposure
  • Soil Moisture

Weather Stations

Currently there are six weather stations at select vineyard across New Mexico. The future plans are to expand this vineyard network and work with the New Mexico Climate Center to establish a hearty Aggie Weather Station Network.

On-Site Weather stations are tools to measure changes in current atmospheric conditions and track this data with the goal to identify local variability with more accuracy because it is local.

Stations used are Davis Weather Stations. All data collected is available at the following links.

  • NMSU- Main Campus
    Latitude: 32° 16.92' N Longitude: 106° 45.60' W Altitude: 3891 feet
  • Black Mesa Winery
    Latitude: 36° 10.68' N Longitude: 105° 58.32' W Altitude: 5785 feet
  • Corrales
    Latitude: 35°14'50.92"N Longitude 106°36'8.41"W Altitude: 5030 feet

Evapotranspiration and Growing Degree Days

  • Growing Degree Days (GDD), or heat accumulation, is useful in determining if plants have received enough heat to proceed through normal developmental stages such as flowering, fruit set, and veraison.

* GDD is calculated by taking the average of the daily maximum and minimum temperatures compared to a base temperature

  • Evapotranspiration (ET) is the measurement that helps determine irrigation strategies and levels, and is an indirect way of measuring how quickly a plant is losing water.

* ET is calculated through remote sensing and historical climate data, then verified through pan evaporation data.

Calculate Your Irrigation


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Visit the Western Regional Climate Center to check current observations, forecasts and monitoring as well as find historical climate information and much more.

Elizabeth Smith
Email: kitkatz@nmsu.edu