Arizona Climate.

Welcome To Arizona's Information Center

by Bill Borden
Founder of ArizonaCircle.Com

What Is The Weather Like In Arizona?

The climate of Arizona attracts millions of visitors every year and makes it one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. Within a few hours drive temperatures can vary from 70 degrees at the Grand Canyon to 120 degrees in Phoenix. Amazingly enough many Phoenix residents don't mind the heat during the summer. Everyone has air conditioning. If you live and work indoors it doesn't matter what the temperature in outside. It's cool and comfortable indoors. Also desert heat is very dry. Some find it more comfortable to be outside when it's dry and 122 degrees and than to be outside when it's 100 degrees with 100 percent humidity.

Summer Climate.

In the desert towns of Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, and smaller communities, it starts to get very hot during the summer early in the day. As the sun beats down on the pavement, buildings, and the sand. the ground becomes very hot. Without shoes you can easily burn yourself. As evening approaches, the temperature should drop rapidly but it doesn't. Why? Because the ground radiates the heat it absorbed during the day. It can take almost all night before the ground is cool enough that the termperature drops to comfortable levels for outdoor activities.

For this reason most people jog, bike, walk, and do things outside very early in the morning. Some start walking at 3 in the morning. By 5 or 6 am you'll see them returning home. Others do most of their outdoor stuff and exercise before 10 or 11am. By mid day, during the hottest summer months, it's too hot. Some have to be outside. If that's you, be sure to drink lots of water even if you're not thirsty.

The climate of Arizona at higher elevations in the mountains is much more comfortable during the summer. The higher you go, the lower the temperature. Summer temperatures at the rim of the Grand Canyon or Flagstaff for example is very pleasant. Even though the air is thinner in the mountains and there's less oxygen, it's very comfortable to be outside. Just take it easy until you adjust to the high altitudes.

Winter Climate.

The winter climate of Phoenix, Tucson, and other desert towns is usually very nice and certainly a lot warmer than most northern areas of the United States. In Phoenix the temperature rarely drops below freezing even at night. During the day temperatures can be 60 to 80 degrees farenheit. Sometimes it feels cooler because humidity is so low but it's still nice. Most of the time during the winter all you need is some comfy sweaters and a light jacket. I've never wore a parka during the winter.

Growing Season.

The growing season in Phoenix is almost year round. The coldest months are Dec, Jan, Feb, and part of March. That's why the growning season is so long. In addition you'll find many trees and plants that can't grow in colder climates. What's amazing to me to the plants that are able to survive the hot weather during the summer without any water. Without irrigation most plants die, but cactus, desert plants, and mature trees, need no water at all other that what they get when it rains. That's not very often.


When it rains in Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma and in the desert, it's usually a celebrated event. It's not unusual for residents to spend time on their covered patios watching to rain, smelling the humidity, listening to the thunder, and watching lightning streaks as they dance across the sky.

The rainy season is usually from late July to mid September. Humidy is higher during this time of the year and it's still very hot. Clouds tend to build during the day and most of the storms occur late afternoon or during the night. In the desert, rain usually doesn't last long. It usually comes down fast. It is rare to have cloudy days in Phoenix or the desert. Almost every day is sunny. Clouds tend to accumulate only when it's going to rain, but there's always exceptions to the rule.

For example in 2004 or 2005, it was cloudy and rained almost every day during the winter. The humidity was high. Temperatures ranged from 40 degrees at night to 60 during the day. It was miserable and this went on for months. One day we actually had hail. I took pictures of the white stuff in my yard and around the pool. On the bright side, when the sun came out in April, the spring months were fabulous. Desert plants had absorbed so much water that the vegetation was green and lush well into June. Flowers, greenery, and color were everywhere.


If you're travelling when it rains during a monsoon it can be very dangerous. High winds and lightning can knock over trees and power lines. The rain can cause flash flooding in areas where drainage is poor. All it takes is a couple of hours. If you're driving, roads sometimes turn into rivers and visibility can be zero. In severe weather, it's often best to cancel your plans and ride out the storm indoors. Monsoons usually blow over in a few hours.


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