When the weather finally breaks in Phoenix — it breaks for ten solid months of pure paradise…

This from my Arizona Republic real estate column (permanent link):

If you live in New York or Boston or Chicago, there will come a day in the Spring when the cold will seem to be in full retreat. The sun will be shining. The icicles on the trees will be melting, and the tickle of the cold drops of water on your hair and neck will make you want to throw your arms out wide and rejoice in your release from the awful prison of Winter.

That happens in Phoenix, too, but it happens six months earlier, on September 15th. Mid-March has its own charms, when the citrus trees open their blossoms and the air is thick with the nectar of heaven perfected. But it’s when the Summer breaks in Phoenix that people come outdoors, knowing that the next ten months will be simply perfect.

Consider: On August 15th, the late-afternoon temperature could be 115 blistering degrees. The sun will be relentless, seeming to hang for hours above the horizon, seeming never to set. The relative humidity will be 40% or more — which doesn’t sound too bad until you remember the temperature. Late in the day, huge storms could come thundering into the Valley of the Sun, flooding the low-lands and even tearing the roofs off of older houses.

That season — we call it “the Monsoon” — lasts from July 15th to September 15th. But when September 15th rolls around… paradise ensues. Daytime high temperatures drop to below 100 and the relative humidity tops off at below 10% — so dry you can smell the dry leaves and pine needles baking in the sunlight.

That might still sound too hot to you, but it’s not. It’s just perfect, an ideal time to be outdoors — all day and all night. There is simply no place like Phoenix, no place on Earth. We suffer, slightly, during the Monsoon, but we are repaid with ten months of the kind of weather that other cities are lucky to see for ten days in any given year.

And Winter — which you are just now beginning to dread — is our most perfect season of them all…

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  1. Robert Worthington November 6th, 2009 6:42 am

    Beautiful article that hit all of my senses as I’m reading it. I had a sort of dreamy state going on as I was reading and was totally consumed. Well written Greg.

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