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Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States of America. Author Pescaiolo. No Copyright
Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States of America. Author Pescaiolo

Arizona climate: when to go to Arizona

Arizona has a  sub-desert climate, with high temperatures and low rainfall, in the state can be distinguished three climatic zones: the south-west desert area which includes the arid desert of Sonora; the central Mexican Plateau at an altitude around 1,000 metres; and the northern Colorado Plateau, located between 1,500 and 2,000 meters.

In the desert areas of the south-west (Sonora desert), the most dry and arid area of the country, the climate is desertic with mild winters and hot summers, the average annual rainfall varies between 50 mm and 130 mm of rain. In this area, especially during the summer months temperatures suffer significant daily fluctuations, sometimes with even 28°C of difference between day and night.

The summer months between May and August, have temperatures ranging between 32°C and 48°C. The winter months from November to February are mild with temperatures ranging between 4°C and 24°C.

White House overlook, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, United States of America. Author NPS Photo. No Copyright

White House overlook, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, United States of America. Author NPS Photo

In the area of Mexican Plateau, summer temperatures are significantly lower than those of the Sonora desert, while in winter nights frequently fall below zero.

The Colorado Plateau, because of his height, has a cooler climate, with cold and windy winters and mild summers, here in winter the temperatures can fall several degrees below zero. The plateau receives between 150 mm and 400 mm of rain a year, in winter the snow is quite frequent. In summer the days are sunny and hot with average maximum temperatures ranging between 20°C and 30°C and medium-night minimum around 10°C.

Because of the conformation of the territory of the state, precipitation vary enough from place to place, for example the rainiest areas of the country are the lee sides of the south-east mountain ranges and the Mogollon Rim, which receive about 760 mm per year of rain, in contrast to some areas of the Sonora desert that have average of 50 mm annually.

WHEN TO GO TO ARIZONA

The best time to visit the highlands of Arizona are the months between April and September, and among these are preferred those of May and June. The desert areas are great to visit in the winter months between October and April.

Grand Canyon climate.

ARIZONA CLIMATIC TABLES

PHOENIX (331 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 7,6 19,6 23,1 4,1
February 9,3 21,5 23,4 4,4
March 11,9 24,9 25,1 3,9
April 15,7 29,6 7,1 1,7
May 20,8 34,9 2,8 1,0
June 25,4 39,9 0,5 0,5
July 28,6 41,2 26,7 4,2
August 28,2 40,2 25,4 5,0
September 24,9 37,7 16,3 2,8
October 18,2 31,4 14,7 2,5
November 11,5 24,2 16,5 2,6
December 7,1 18,9 22,4 3,9
YEAR 17,4  30,3 204 36,6

SOUTH RIM – GRAND CANYON (2.134 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January -8 5 33
February -6 7 39
March -4 10 35
April 0 15 23
May 4 21 16
June 8 27 10
July 12 29 45
August 12 28 57
September 8 24 39
October 2 18 27
November -3 11 23
December -7 6 41
YEAR 388

CHINLE – CANYON DE CHELLY (1.678 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January -7 7 20
February -4 11 16
March -1 16 18
April 3 21 14
May 7 26 14
June 12 32 8
July 16 34 27
August 16 32 33
September 11 28 23
October 4 22 26
November -2 13 20
December -7 7 16
YEAR  235

TUCSON (728 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 4,3 16,8 23,9 4,9
February 5,7 20,3 21,8 4,1
March 7,9 23,4 18,5 3,9
April 11,1 27,8 7,9 2,0
May 15,8 33,1 5,8 1,8
June 20,7 37,9 5,1 1,7
July 23,6 37,6 57,2 9,8
August 22,9 36,3 60,7 9,7
September 20,3 34,7 32,8 4,4
October 14,1 29,3 22,6 3,2
November 7,8 23,1 14,5 2,7
December 3,9 18,2 23,6 4,7
YEAR 13,2 28,4 293,6 52,9

YUMA (43 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 8,7 20,9 9,1 2,3
February 10,1 23,2 8,4 2,0
March 12,4 26,6 8,6 1,8
April 15,3 30,2 3,0 8
May 19,6 35,2 0,8 4
June 23,7 39,7 0,3 2
July 27,8 41,4 6,6 9
August 27,9 41,2 13,2 2,3
September 24,7 38,5 13,5 1,2
October 18,3 32,2 5,3 1,1
November 12,2 25,3 5,1 1,0
December 8,1 20,2 11,4 2,1
YEAR 17,4  31,2 85,3 16,2

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