When people think of Arizona, they generally think of cactus, scorpions, rattle snakes, and a 120 degree weather. But there’s a lot people don’t realize about Arizona and quite a bit of it has to do with our weather.
- Arizona, on average, gets more snowfall per year than New York. The annual snowfall averages 100.3 inches (254.76 cm), placing Flagstaff among the snowiest incorporated cities in the United States. Buffalo, New York’s average snowfall is 93.4 inches.
Yup… we have 12,000′ snow capped mountains in Arizona.
- Believe it or not, it does get cold in Phoenix! Ok, maybe not Chicago cold, but it’s definitely sweater weather. A lot of people think we’re in shorts and t-shirts year round, but being in a dry desert means we actually get some pretty brisk winter nights (and even days). It’s not uncommon for the days to be in the 50’s and the nights dropping down into the low 30’s in January and February. We’re not Florida where the climate is humid and tropical.
- And last, but not least, when it comes to our weather — it’s anything but boring. Monsoon season is usually a welcome change to Arizonans where we get a brief reprieve from the sunshine and heat. Monsoon season means newsworthy dust storms followed by torrential downpour.
They’re a lot scarier looking than they really are, but you still don’t want to be caught up in one. The dust is unpleasant and all that being kicked up also means it brings the potential for valley fever and other unpleasantries, like pollen and respiratory distress. Not to mention it’s messy and can cause accidents. The storms that followed are filled with non stop lightening, gusts of wind up to 90 mph, and buckets of water being dumped on us by the minute.
- We have the dumb driver law. Well, it’s really called the stupid motorist law and it has to do with the previous mentioned item in my list here. The “Stupid Motorist Law” is a law in the U.S. State of Arizona that states that any motorist who becomes stranded after driving around barricades to enter a flooded stretch of roadway may be charged for the cost of their rescue. The law corresponds to section 28-910 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.
If public emergency services (such as a fire department or paramedics) are called to rescue a flooded motorist and tow the vehicle out of danger in Arizona, the cost of those services can be billed to the motorist, plus additional liability of up to $2,000
So yes, if you’re visiting us and it’s storming outside, don’t enter into any area that could be flooded. It doesn’t matter if you’re a clueless out of state driver. You’ll still be billed.
- Most of Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time – or any time change. We actually have our own timezone – the Arizona Standard Time. So while everyone else is scrambling to turn their clocks forward or backward, we’re laughing in glee because we don’t observe it. At least most of the state. The Navajo Nation is the exception to this. However, Arizona isn’t unique to this. Parts of Hawaii and Indiana don’t observe DST either.
- Speaking of Navajo Nation, over 25% of Arizona is made up of reservations. We have over a dozen different tribes in Arizona and the native culture is a very big part of what makes up Arizona.
- Arizona is the only place in the United States where mail is still delivered by mule in Havasupai (a reservation), at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
- This may be something, thanks to recent politics, that a lot of people know. But Arizona has very lax gun laws. You don’t need a permit to conceal carry or carry at all and you don’t even need to register your gun. Yes, you’ll see people walking around with a gun on their belt and people think nothing of it. (Unless you’re a tourist here) And more people than you realize conceal carry a weapon here in AZ. It’s quite the norm.
- Ok, so pretty much everyone knows we have the Grand Canyon, but most people don’t realize we’re the only state that is home to one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
- And last, but not least, in ode to the coming Christmas season. Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas while visiting the Biltmore, near downtown Phoenix. Ironic, isn’t it?