Sedona weather is really ideal! We plan a visit for any time of the year, and cannot complain about the weather we get. It does vary some.
Be aware of what to expect. But still - there's really nothing better than planning a hiking or vacation trip to Sedona. The weather will almost certainly cooperate! And the best scenery there is - to top it off!
We owned a convertible for a few years. We enjoyed driving around Sedona in that car! It was a little Chrysler PT Cruiser. It was a fun little car to drive for these types of trips - suiting our purpose for a while.
When we went on a group trip from work - our friends all wanted a turn to take a ride. They loved the jaunt through Oak Creek Canyon - such great views in a convertible. No worries about the weather!!
And for all of us that week - the Sedona Weather cooperated fully! We had a blast!
The Sedona weather type is a result of a temperate, semi-arid climate. As is typical of the Sonoran Desert, nearby in the lower elevations to the south, it doesn't rain that much. The rain patterns in Sedona are similar to that of the desert. Normally Sedona just gets a little more rain.
As in the Sonoran Desert, May and June are the driest months. Often little to no rain. There is a typical winter "rainy" season. Winter storms come in from the Pacific. They can reach Arizona, and bring rain (rarely snow) to the area. Typically January, February & March get the most storms.
Keep in mind - all of this precipitation only totals just over 19 inches per yearly average. So... safe to say - not very much to worry about spoiling any plans.
But enough to normally keep the flora & fauna happy. This watery data is all accumulated by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. See details: click here.
Arizona is known for its amazing sunrises and sunsets...
All the more extraordinary in Sedona - because of the reflection off the red rocks. What a beautiful sight to see!
Get up in the morning, and watch the sun come up. Do you observe a "red sky in the morning"? There's a saying...
Red sky at morning - Sailor take warning.
Red sky at night - Sailors' delight!
It's an old saying before there was meteorological science - it meant: rain storms that day!
Will that happen here - in Sedona? You don't likely have to worry! The clear, clean, fresh air is the scientific reason for this morning red-sky experience. Con't want to take my word for it? See the meteorological reasoning - click here!
You can be confident and know you can just enjoy your day, when you see these fabulous views... Don't worry about the weather interrupting your plans!
Instead, check the report...
But in the season - there will be Monsoon Thunderstorms! How often will they happen? There's no way to be sure.
One idea I use - when you see the TV forecast... look for a high pressure circling the 4 corner's area. (That's where 4 state borders join together: AZ, UT, CO & NM). The prevailing winds will pull the tropical moisture up to the north!
Now remember, that's my living room amateur meteorological understanding. But it usually works fairly well! I did get it from a TV meteorologist, after all!
Watch for cloud build-up during the day, as the air heats up. Toward late afternoon, the storms may begin. Sometimes, when the air is really saturated, the storms are on and off all day long.
Then be especially aware of the problems you could encounter. You can see some sudden downpours at any time. They can dump amazing amounts of rain in no time!
During Monsoon Thunderstorms lightning strikes come at a fast and furious pace. The National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) talks about 3 basic types of lighting. During these storms you'll witness all 3.
The light show types are strikes that go throughout the clouds, never touching the ground. They spread out like wiring circuitry through the sky. The sheet lightning within the cloud illuminates the whole cloud. They just spread through it like a blanket covering the cloud.
These are the majority of lightning strikes... 5 to 10 times more than those that hit the ground according to the NSSL. These truly make the storm a light show!
Have you heard this - don't stand under a tree in a lightning storm. The NSSL calls a cloud to ground strike a "CG" - and says we don't see the visible lightning until the charge hits the ground.
It generates a return charge of current to the cloud. That's when it's visible to our eyes. It flickers as the current goes to the cloud in "strokes."
Unbelievably - the current we see is only a few inches wide! It's just so bright, it looks larger & can be seen for many miles. The charge from the cloud attracts the closest ground charge. So usually it's something tallest in the area. Think of a tall tree, a tall building, a telephone pole, etc.
In the Sonoran Desert, it's likely to be a Saguaro cactus. One afternoon, during a Monsoon thunderstorm, I saw a strike hit the Saguaro cactus in my front yard. That was about 30 yards from my front door! Kinda scary!
Are you hiking in Monsoon season? Remember this practical advice for hikers if a Monsoon storm comes in...
First be aware of the possibility. Are they predicting possible Monsoon thunderstorms? Might this be a day to choose a different activity?
Recommendations from the NLSI. Are you are caught in an unexpected storm during a hike? Are you out on a trail without shelter?
Whatever the Sedona weather forecast tells you, it's a great day to plan a hike, or some other activity. You just can't go wrong with a trip to Sedona. The weather will be quite cooperative...
Or at least choose to drive just a little for a change in your mini-climate! That's how Arizona is!
Notice that when Monsoon storms are in the area, you seem to "smell" rain before it begins. That's actually the scent of the creosote bush. It gives off this aroma when it's wet. People begin to associate it with the smell of rain.
Since Monsoon thunderstorms tend to be intermittent throughout the afternoon - you'll see the sun peeking through as well. The ideal circumstances for a rainbow. Well, not just "A" rainbow - but often a double rainbow as well. A beautiful sight!
The clouds themselves, various shades of gray, dark blue, black - against the vibrant blue sky peeking through! Shards of sunlight gleaming through slits in the clouds. Rain pouring down over there, and again way over there. Then on top of you!
It's just a wonderful weather experience.
Even if you can't get outside one day. Because the Sedona weather is forecasting imminent Monsoon thunderstorms. Well, enjoy the Sedona experience some other way - I know you will!