Today in Flagstaff, United States
Sunny skies. High 56F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.
A few clouds from time to time. Low 31F. Winds light and variable.
This weather data was last updated 2017-03-26 05:12:02.
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Arizona weather is something that everyone imagines they know about. Everyone who is visiting but does not live in the state believes that the moment they step into the state they will be seeing a desert with scolding temperatures and little rainfall year round. While it is true that most of the state will have desert like conditions; that does not necessarily mean that Arizona weather is 125 F every day and everywhere.
You also have to take into consideration that Arizona is not a flat state like you would find in the Midwest. It actually has some places with higher elevations which are not like the desert at all. So to understand the weather you will be seeing when you visit or move to Arizona, you should know your destination and think of the weather patterns before you decide to leave the jacket at home.
The Arizona weather in the places of lower elevations will be mainly desert like weather. That means that the summers can be as hot as you will see in any area in the country. The hottest recorded temperature was recorded in Lake Havasu back in 1994 when the mercury hit 128 F. That however is not the full story of the Arizona weather. The winters can get mild when the average is 60 F.
Keep in mind that at night it can get much colder than that. During the winter you can expect temperatures which range from 40 F to 70 F. In the months of November, December, January and February it is recommended that you take your jacket with you, especially if you will be coming back home at night time.
The Arizona weather at higher elevations is much different than what you would find in the desert areas. The higher elevations are mostly located in the north of the state. This plateau makes the Arizona weather in this part of the state look much like those you would find in other places with summers that do not get as hot and winters which do. Even with those temperatures in this area the climate is still called arid-semi arid. The colder temperatures happen because of more than just the altitude.
There are also cold air systems that reach the northern part of Arizona which come from Canada. In those cases you can expect the temperature to reach 0 F. Some of the places that get this kind of weather include Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon areas of the state. The lowest average temperature in these areas happens in January when the average is just 16 F, but the record low is an impressive -40 F.
One of the things that you can expect the Arizona weather to throw your way is quick temperature changes and drops. You may even see a drop of 50 degrees from the middle of the day to the night. This usually happens in unpopulated areas of the desert. Urban areas on the other hand have been changing recently and that is due to the urban warming effect. There are still drops in temperature, but they are not quite as big as the ones seen in the more remote areas.
If you are heading for an outdoor adventure in the desert you may experience these temperature drops so you should be ready to build a fire and have extra warming clothes with you just in case as temperature drops are a part of the Arizona weather.
Rainfall And Humidity
While the desert areas receive less rainfall than other parts in the country, it is not as little as you may think. The yearly average California and some by Nevada, but the two rainy seasons in the state happen because of cold fronts coming from the Pacific. The end of the summer sees the monsoon season in Arizona weather. In July and August you can expect the humidity to rise which has brought dew points of 81 F in the city of Phoenix.
This time of the year is when you are more likely to see powerful though brief thunder storms. The good news is that tornados are not a problem in Arizona as they do not happen frequently. Hurricanes are also extremely rare in Arizona as the state is located far enough from the Ocean and the gulf so that a storm does not have any strength left by the time it reaches Arizona weather.