Although it may seem as if Tucson has one long summer season with a mild and short spring thrown in to shake things up, it actually has 5 seasons.
Spring lasts from late February to April. Days are usually sunny, warm and pleasant. Nights are cool and ideal for outdoors dining. School children start wearing shorts in late March. The average daytime temperature is in the 70s to 80s.
Dry Summer is from May to June although it is often longer. Days are hot and dry with high temperatures in the afternoon. Early morning activities begin as early as 5:00 am, when the sun rises and evening sun stretches into late evening. Noontime temperatures range from the 80's to the 90s with morning and evening temperatures in the mid-60s. Humidity is practically a non-issue year round, except during Monsoon Summer, which doesn’t occur every year.
Monsoon Summer will sometimes go from July to early September with sporadic rain, primarily in the evenings. "Monsoon Season" - the local term for the Monsoon Summer- begins when the dew point remains at 55F for 3 consecutive days and does not actually guarantee rain. Temperatures will vary in these months depending upon the amount of rainfall, with a dry season running to 100F in the afternoon with morning and evening temperatures in the 70's. A wet season is significantly cooler during the day. For the last few years, Tucson has had a very limited Monsoon Summer.
Fall begins in late September and goes through November. The evenings become cool again and wildflowers go into bloom. Trees on the mountains turn color. Freezing temperatures and snow can occur late in the season. This season begins with temperatures in the 90's (yes, we still call that Fall) and settles in at around an average of 75F during the day. You will see natives in sweaters at this time. Really.
Winter is from December through early February. Days are clear with occasional clouds and rain. Daytime temperatures plummet to the 60's (although temperatures in the 80's are not unusual) and the nighttime temperature is in the 30's to 40's. Late in the season snowfall on the surrounding mountains is spectacular as you go about your day in town where a sweater or light jacket is all you need.
© 2003-2007 Shelly James
Canyon Country Online, LLC