What Is the Climate in Phoenix, Arizona?

What Is the Climate in Phoenix, Arizona?
The city of Phoenix, located in the central part of Arizona, has an arid, or desert, climate. It experiences very hot summers and mild winters. If you are planning to take a trip or move to the area, knowing the climate can help you prepare before you go.

Summer

The summers in Phoenix are extremely hot, with daily average highs over 100 degrees beginning June 1 and continuing through Sept. 14. Daily average lows are above 80 degrees for the months of July and August. The city averages 110 days a year with the temperature above 100 degrees and 18 days a year with the temperature above 110 degrees.

Winter

The winters in Phoenix are mild, with the average monthly high temperature only dipping below 70 degrees in January. The average winter will have lows in the 40s and low 50s. Snowfall is a rarity, but as the city expands to higher elevations, those parts of the city can see measurable snow.

Precipitation

Although it is a desert climate, Phoenix does receive some precipitation. The city receives, on average, 8.29 inches of rainfall in a year. April, May and June are the driest months, getting less than .25 inches of rainfall in each of those months. March is the wettest month, averaging 1.07 inches of rainfall. The rest of the months average between 1 inch and .75 inches of rainfall. Measurable snow has only fallen seven times at the NOAA official reporting station, each time either an inch or under.

Sunshine

Sunshine hours are the percentage of daylight time that the sun will be shining on average. Phoenix averages 85 percent sunshine over the course of the year. December and January are the cloudiest months, but still average over 77 percent.

Climate over a large area

Phoenix is a large city, taking up over 500 square miles. Because of this, the climate in one area might be quite different from another depending on factors like topography and elevation. Higher elevations will generally experience lower temperatures.

Article Written By Shawn McClain

Shawn McClain has spent over 15 years as a journalist covering technology, business, culture and the arts. He has published numerous articles in both national and local publications, and online at various websites. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in journalism at Clarion University.

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