Arizona Climate

You may be surprised that parts of Arizona get lots of rain and snow. As shown in tables below, Flagstaff, for example, averages over seven (7) feet of snow annually. Perhaps also surprising, Arizona has the largest forest of ponderosa pine, the perfect lumber tree, outside Russia.

The Arizona Climate may be unique for the planet. Nearly half of the state is higher in elevation that Denver, the “mile high city”, with the snow and cold that goes with that in winter. Of course, the southwest corner of the State is one of the hottest areas in the USA every July. In between is the full range of possibilities.

Arizona has near-zero natural disaster events … such as hurricanes, tornadoes, mud slides, earthquakes, ice storms, etc.

Dust storms, referred to as a “haboob”, can be rather dramatic and get a good deal of media attention but the worst effect by most of these is a dirty car.

As noted above, Arizona does have very large forests, so forest fire is an event that we, too, are plagued with.

Summer in Central Arizona is serious as well, especially after Noon … this is not a time and place for laboring  outside, or to leave perishables in a parked car even for a few minutes.

But Central  Arizona is “the” place to be October through April – just ask any of the million-plus snowbirds who visit then.

And summer in Central Arizona is NOT all that bad … at least not  at 6 AM when it’s typically 80° to 85° and less than 20% humidity … about as good as it  gets for golf, jogging, or whatever. Just have a cool place to be by  Noon. The summer daily high temperatures do not occur  until about 4 PM, and 100° temps often persist until 9 PM.

So … “Morning” people who work indoors don’t mind the summer here that much. “Evening” people don’t like summer at all.

Elevation in metro Phoenix varies from about 1,100 feet at the  airport to over 2,700 feet in far-North Scottsdale, where the annual  averages are about 3° cooler with over 3  inches more rain.


Metro Phoenix Climate J F M A M J J A S O N D Yr
Rain – inches 0.7 0.6 0.76 0.32 0.14 0.12 0.75 1.2 0.69 0.46 0.46 0.82 7.1
Daily High Temp – °F 66 75 80 86 95 106 107 104 100 94 76 67 88
Daily Low Temp – °F 44 50 53 60 68 80 84 83 75 70 53 45 64
% Humidity 43 47 47 27 29 17 32 38 27 25 25 54 34
% Sun 78 80 84 88 93 94 85 85 89 88 83 77 85


Average Annual Precipitation

Yuma Phoenix Tucson Prescott Flagstaff
Rain – inches 3.0 7.1 10.7 18.1 19.8
Snow – inches 0 0 0.6 23.7 84.4


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