Quality of Life in Otero County
Alamogordo, county seat of Otero County, New Mexico, is the metropolitan center of the Tularosa Basin. The city is the commercial and governmental center for the county. Alamogordo is a thriving center of 35,000+ residents. The city’s mild climate and pristine scenery offer its people an ambiance that enriches their quality of life. The Tularosa Basin is surrounded by the majestic Organ, San Andres and Sacramento Mountain ranges.
Alamogordo was founded in 1898 as a terminal for the railroad. The community’s activities promoted the growth of logging, tourism and health related enterprises. A national survey rated Alamogordo as one of the 50 healthiest places to live in the U.S. The basic beginnings are still in place. Many of the early buildings are still occupied by businesses. Tourism related activity and light manufacturing contribute to the economy. White Sands National Monument is a major attraction as are the New Mexico Museum of Space History and the Lincoln National Forest.
The Sacramento Mountain range is the southernmost tip of the Rocky Mountain chain within the boundary of the United States, and as such is not subject to the drastically cold temperatures of the upper ranges. The area’s climate is more moderate than other desert areas because of its high elevation and proximity to the mountain range, which provides shelter from the wind’s cold as well as cooling rain showers in summer’s heat. With elevations ranging from 4,300 feet to 9,000 feet, the county has an ideal climate of warm days and cool nights. There are 350 days of sunshine each year. Winter days stay comfortable with temperatures in the 50s and 60s. The basin averages 15 inches of precipitation per year, and 315 days are precipitation free. The months of July-August get approximately 6 inches of moisture, while the mountain areas average 32 inches of precipitation and 92 inches of snow.