The Arizona winters are what draw may part time residents into making themselves at home here. The mild daily temperatures are quite enticing compared to the cold, wet, snowy weather in home states.
Northern Arizona mountains offer snow and lots of winter sports. Arizona residents ski. They snowboard. They snowshoe. The December, January and February low and high averages are consistent month over month. Mountain climates average high teens as lows and mid 40’s for the average high. This is much lower than many people think. When particularly low cold air is pushed south from Canada and the Northern United States, temperatures easily fall below zero degrees. Interestingly, Arizona holds the record for having a metropolitan area with the most days with a temperature below freezing. Arizona!
Flagstaff in Northern Arizona opens its Snow Bowl, drawing snow sport enthusiasts from all over the state, California and Nevada. Central Arizona opens its forests for hunting. Elk, deer, wild turkey and other small game and birds are plenty. The colors of fading fall make hunting even more attractive to outdoorsmen. The desert areas are full of javelina and desert mule deer, quail and dove.
Sedona is a great place to visit. It may be crowded still, but its visited by those enjoying the tranquility of the quieter months. The colors of the red rock is still vibrant, possibly even more so against the start, bright sky.
Southern Arizona is a popular vacation destination in the winter. The mild temperatures and the absence of snow attract tourists. The cities are filled with snowbirds. The restaurants, shopping centers and roads are full of people from all over the country. The day temperature cools to the mid 60’s. Those from Arizona are pulling out sweaters and jackets while the snowbirds are wearing sandals and shorts. Oranges begin to ripen in January and are in full bloom by February. Trees are near naked, shedding leaves and needles. The sun is still strong and you need to protect your skin with sunblock or clothing.
This is a great time to visit the zoo, to see animals enjoying the cooler temperatures as well. They often spend more time in the sun and less hiding in the shade of trees and buildings. The lakes are quieter but still warm during the day, allowing less play and more quiet. Parks are still full of laughing kids and chatting families but with more energy than the hot summer months. Downtown metropolitan areas are alive during the day, patrons overfilling onto the sidewalks, no longer needing the protection of air conditioning. Friends spend a little more time over lunch or late afternoon drink. The late evening chase them back into the restaurants and out of the 40 degree weathers.
The warmer winters are kind to crops. Head lettuce grows well. Apples and oranges grow nicely through the winter. This ability to grow produce year round benefits the entire country, allowing access to fresh fruit year round.
This is an Arizona winter!