Very hot Hottest temperature was in 1934 at 116 degrees Dry climate Few streams Rain Shadow effect Air travels east over the Pacific Ocean gathers moisture and then when it reaches the Sierra Nevada Mountains suck most of the moisture out of the air. The air that gets to New Mexico holds very little moisture which causes our hot dry climate Growing season can last for more than 200 days. Desert grasslands and scattered mountains which have mesquite-tarbush desert scrub, creosote bush, and large patches of Palo Verde cactus shrub and saguaro cactus. Animals: pronghorn antelope, coyotes, jack rabbits, cattle, elk, mountain lion, quail, deer, and roadrunners The two largest cities in New Mexico are in the Basin and Range Province: Las Cruces and Albuquerque Both are in the Rio Grande Rift and began as farming communities Because of fertile soil and access to water Both were colonized around the same time as Santa Fe Melzer, R., & Reyes, C. K. (2012). The New Mexico Journey. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Education.