Tucson Weather

Tucson WeatherTucson is located in the northeastern edge of the vast ‪Sonoran‬ Desert at an elevation of 2,400 feet, and its climate reflects its surroundings. The city really only experiences two seasons — winter and summer — with winters being mild and relatively dry and summers being hot and sunny. A "monsoon season" is added late each summer.

Summer brings a mixture of weather to Tucson. The bright summer sun routinely heats the earth to 100 degrees or above during June, July and August. Tucson is a sunny city with 193 days of clear skies and 284 days that see at least some sun.

But the summer is also when the Arizona desert sees most of its rainfall. Tucson receives 70 percent of its 11.9 inches of annual precipitation in the second half of the year. In July, for example, Tucson receives 2.37 inches of precipitation. By comparison, in the late spring and early summer the city only receives a few drops of rain (0.74 inches, April, May and June combined).

Any rain that falls soon becomes victim to Tucson's low humidity and frequent sunshine. Water evaporates fairly quickly and Tucson returns to desert. It does not snow very frequently.

Relative humidity is only noticeable a few times each year, especially during the monsoon season, which is July through September. In the driest months, humidity can be a parched 13 percent in the mornings and not rise above 25 percent in the afternoons. Even during the rainy season it is never very humid.

This lack of humidity means that Tucson's temperatures can take wild swings during each 24-hour period. In January, average highs of 66 are met with lows of 42. In June, average highs of 100 are met with lows that dip into the mid 60's. Every now and again it gets super hot in Tucson. It reached 117 degrees in 1990. The record low of 16 was set in 1949.

Winds are to be expected in any desert climate and Tucson's winds almost always blow 7-8 miles per hour and from the southeast.

Tucson's mild winter climate makes it a popular city for tourists during the winter. Spring brings a gradual warming, with high temperatures rising from 66 degrees in January to 82 in April and 91 in May. Spring also brings drier weather with plenty of sunshine.

In the fall, a slow cool down begins in late September, with high temperatures around 95 degrees, and ends in December with highs of 66. The fall is wet, with over four inches of rainfall — much of it from torrential downpours that cause frequent flash flooding.