Arizona December 23, 2017
9 Things No One Tells You About Surviving An Arizona Winter
It seems winter has finally arrived in Arizona! If you’re new to the state, you might think winter in the Grand Canyon State is like a less hot summer. You just might find that’s not quite the case, however. Here are 9 tips that will help you survive a Christmas here in Arizona.
1. First things first: it does snow during winter here, just not across the whole state.
Winter weather arrived a bit late this year but it’s finally arrived. The amount of snow may not quite match what you’ll find in other states like, say, Wyoming or Michigan but our mountain towns still get enough to feel oh so jolly during the holidays. You’ll find that northern Arizona and our mountains tend to get super cold and snowy.
2. But you might find some people just don’t know how to drive in the cold weather.
Whether it’s snow or ice, you’ll find some Arizonans don’t know how to drive in or through it. You can’t blame us too much though since we all didn’t grow up around the stuff.
3. The first sign of frost tends to make people freak out.
In our snowy regions, you’ll usually find the first frost arrives around October while in other areas it can be as late as the end of December. The only people who usually get really excited about this are those who live in non-snowy areas because sometimes it’s as close as we’ll get to real snow. Just don’t forget to cover your plants during a frost warning!
4. You may find that you’ll still need a winter coat...that just depends on where you live.
I’m a "desert rat," meaning I grew up in the desert and have a low tolerance for cold temperatures, so I keep a pea coat for heading up to places like Flagstaff and for the coldest mornings here in Phoenix. If you plan to live in or visit the mountains, you’ll find the nights get much colder than you might expect!
5. But there may be days where you don’t need a jacket at all.
Hey, some days you’ll find the day’s high temperature may reach a balmy 70 degrees!
6. We go a bit crazy with the holiday decorations here.
Maybe it’s because most of our state receives little to no snow, but you’ll find that Arizonans tend to go a bit crazy with light displays. You’ll find tons of free and not-so-free events around the state where you can see some very elaborate light displays, in addition to the decorations you’ll find on houses.
7. We also have some traditions you’ll only find here in Arizona.
Tumbleweed Christmas trees, Santa hats on top of cacti, and lights strewn across cacti. There aren’t many other places you’ll find those!
8. You can still enjoy the great outdoors around here!
You don’t need to worry about getting snowed in or the ground being too icy to go for a run or hike. If you want to avoid snow, simply head to one of our deserts for a sunny hike. Alternatively, there are plenty of opportunities to ski, sled, and roll around in the snow when you head into the mountains.
9. You’ll still need to wear that sunscreen.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should stop slathering on that lotion. The UV index might be lower but we have the sunniest winter days in the country and you’ll find that you burn quicker in the higher elevations. Look for a sunscreen that is broad spectrum SPF 30.
Want to read an example of just how intense winter can become here in Arizona? Read
A Terrifying, Deadly Storm Struck Arizona In 1967 And No One Saw It Coming.