Arizona Monsoon Officially Ended on September 30th
Why is it a big deal?
Center Formation – Bell Rock
In other parts of the world, monsoon season is a time of devastating rain conditions and it may not be the most popular season but here in Arizona, we get much needed rainfall. It is true that in central (Phoenix area) and southern Arizona (Tucson) high winds and dust storms (haboobs) can preceed a rain event and cause damage which can be devastating and deadly. During microbursts, the heavy rain can also cause flash flooding and loosen the soil which causes trees to topple as well as power outages. It is not a time to be outside or driving around especially near washes, creeks and low lying areas. On ocassion lightning can strike a palm tree and catch it on fire! Arizona gets a million lightning strikes a year with most of the strikes coming during monsoon.
Here in Sedona, we got 7.33 inches of rain during the 2015 monsoon season. That is almost half the rainfall for the entire year. So you can see, monsoon is a big deal. With drought conditions over most of the western states, we have been fortunate to get rain. Our rain has been spread out allowing the earth to soak it in. We are already 2 inches above last year’s total rainfall with 3 months to go. We could potentially record the most yearly rainfall in the past 6 years.
Here is an example of a short microburst in our courtyard!
As for the summer heat…..
I get asked all the time from concerned buyers about the Arizona heat in the summertime. Most people outside of Arizona, think of the entire state as a desert. It is not! Northern Arizona is very different than Central and Southern Arizona. Sedona has pine trees and junipers and sits around 4500 feet. Sedona gets mild but noticible season changes. Flagstaff sits at 7000+ feet. The climate zone is different going from Phoenix to Sedona. Flagstaff also is in a different climate zone as well.
Deceiving Differences in Temperatures
Quick disclaimer: I am not bashing Phoenix – see my opinion in the closing.
Sedona and Phoenix summertime temps during the day are only 10º – 15º difference. This doesn’t seem like much until you compare the entire day.
I did a comparison of temps at 90º and above during a heat spell a couple of days ago. Phoenix was 102º and Sedona was 92º.
Here is the difference – Sedona was at 90º and above for 98 minutes the entire day with temps dropping into the 50ºs at night. On the other hand, Phoenix was at 90º and above for 11 hours. Temperature at night only dropped to 72º. There was a heat spell during the summer for at least 3 days the temps did not dip below 90º in some areas. One weather station reported 10 days in August above 90º for a low near Phoenix International Airport.
You might ask, how can those residents deal with that heat? They deal with the heat the same way folks deal with the cold and the snow. You change your seasonal outdoor habits enjoying the pleasent temps in the morning and evenings while staying inside during the day. They enjoy their pools and go to air conditioned malls and theaters. As long as your air conditioner is working, your OK.
In my opinion, I prefer the heat to the cold. I would much rather be able to enjoy the outdoors year round. Arizona is a mecca for outdoor activities and it is absolutely worth changing your habits if you like outdoor activities. let’s face it! Not everybody enjoys the heat. We have seasonal residents (snow birds) who come here after the heat subsides. Personally, I enjoy driving down to Phoenix for short stays during the summer months. We shop, enjoy the resort pools and get great deals because it is off season.
However, after decades of living is Southern California with only 2 seasons, Summer and almost summer, I wanted to be able to enjoy a mild climate that offered 4 seasons. This year has been really great so far, really mild winter and a Spring that started in late February and lasted through late June!
Arizona has many climate zones and offers something for every person. Another misconception is that there is no water here. We have lakes, rivers, creeks and streams all over the state. If you haven’t been here to visit. Now is the time!
For those who want to know more about the Sedona weather, we have a weather station right in our backyard. There is more information about monsoon, Hi and low temps from 2011 and yearly seasonal short weather summaries from 2013 to 2015. You can go back to any date period to see what the weather history and there are slides that show a quick picture for the last 6 years.
Go to Ricks World Sedona Weather for more info
Rainbows are another wonderful part of monsoon… Have a great day!
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