Not only is Arizona a hot tourist destination in the country thanks to the beauty of the Grand Canyon, it’s also one of the fastest growing states population wise.
And that population boom isn’t from the heat or water making Arizonians more fertile, it’s from folks all around the country choosing to migrate and call Arizona home.
But whether you’re just here for a week to see Phoenix or the Grand Canyon, or you’re a newcomer who is now calling Arizona home, there is one rite of passage that every visitor must face. Surviving their first summer.
If I had to pick two things that Arizona was mostly widely known for, it would be The Grand Canyon (of course) and the brutal heat that the summers bring in Arizona. An honorable mention would be rattlesnakes, but we’ve already covered how likely you are to be bitten by a rattlesnake in Arizona. (not likely)
Is the heat as bad as they say it is?
Well, the answer to this isn’t so simple. I’d say, it depends where you’re coming from. If you’re coming from somewhere like New Mexico or the Mojave Desert in Southern California, you might be used to scorching heat. The same is true if you’re visiting from somewhere like Las Vegas.
But if you’re coming from the east coast, mid west, or somewhere up north, it might be a bit of an adjustment. Even if you’re from somewhere known for being hot and humid like Florida, Arizona will still feel quite different.
It’s a dry heat!
One of Arizona’s favorite slogans for tourists and residents alike when discussing the summer heat in Arizona, is simply “It’s a dry heat!”
While the slogan is supposed to imply that because it’s a dry heat it’s not really so bad…let me tell ya folks when it’s a 122 degrees outside you could care less what type of heat it is, you just want to get inside into some air conditioning.
While yes, the heat in Arizona is a dry heat it can and does sometimes get humid in the summertime. We have monsoons here and our rainy season is typically in the summer. In fact, it very rarely even rains in the winter months at all. When a monsoon or haboob (dust storm) rolls into town in the summer, expect some humidity on top of that heat as well.
Will you survive?
You will in fact survive, so long as you drink lots of water and stay cool. Avoiding dehydration and heat exhaustion are two important elements to survival in the desert.
The first summer, whether you’re a visitor or a new resident in the state is always the hardest. There is a reward though for those that survive…
If you aren’t here for the 5 months of hell, you don’t deserve the 7 months of paradise
May, June, July, August, and September are typically the hottest months in Arizona. During these months it’s only the locals that you’ll find on the streets or out and about. But what about the rest of the 7 months?
The big payoff for new residents to the state are the other 7 months of the year in which the temperature is perfect. Sure, in October or late march you might still find yourself running the AC occasionally, but the weather outside is bearable, and turns into an absolute paradise during the fall, winter, and spring months.
There’s a reason why our streets fill with Canadian and northern US state licenses plates during these months. The snowbirds flock here in droves to escape their freezing home states and enjoy the paradise that Arizona provides.
How To Prepare Yourself For Your First Arizona Summer
Preparing for your first summer in Arizona is actually quite simple.
If you’re visiting as a tourist and are only staying for a short period of time, simply be sure to drink lots of water and bring plenty with you when you go out.
If you’re moving here, preparation is a bit more involved.
I would say the most important thing to do to prepare yourself for the Arizona summer is to ensure that you’re air conditioner is working. One of the worst things that can happen to you in the middle of a 120 degree day in the summer is to have your AC go out on you.
This also applies to your car’s air conditioner as well. As we all know, cars heat up while parked, incredibly fast – and even if you park your vehicle in a garage it’s going to heat up very quickly. In fact, this might sound like a joke but there’s no harm in bringing a pair of oven mitts with you when you’re getting ready to drive! The steering wheels get HOT!
One thing you might notice when you move to Arizona is that you are going to be drinking A LOT of water. Water is the essence of life and is incredibly important to sustaining life in the desert. While water is aplenty in Arizona and droughts very rarely occur, many people simply forget to drink enough and pass out from dehydration.
Don’t let that be your memory of your first summer in Arizona. Drink lots of water!
The first summer in Arizona is always the hardest, but it is doable and it is survivable. Don’t let locals or anyone else scare you off. YES it does get hot, but with air conditioning and hydration you WILL survive!
Arizona is a beautiful state, and after a few years here you might even start to enjoy the summers! It’s all about what you get used to!
Have any Arizona summer survival tips you’d like to share? Drop a comment down below!Thumbnail photo credit – flotography
Other photos credit – cvgellhorn
Other photos credit – thatsmrbio