Skip Navigation Linkswww.weather.gov 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service Forecast Office   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage    
Phoenix, Arizona
navigation bar decoration      
spacer

2012 Phoenix Climate

Year in Review

 

The year 2012 ended up being one of the warmest years in recorded history for central Arizona, as well as one of the drier years. Records for Phoenix began in 1896, first taken in downtown and since moved to Sky Harbor airport since the 1940s. Only 1989 now stands as a warmer year. Only one month of 2012 (July) resulted in a below average monthly temperature, with only one month (September) in a near normal range. Otherwise, the remaining 10 months were above normal. Only August 2012 rainfall pushed the monthly total into above average territory, with 5 other months near average. The remaining 6 months of decidedly below average rainfall resulted in 2012 becoming the 15th driest year in Phoenix since 1896.

The first half of the year was rather quiet with few weather systems affecting the area. However, the first severe weather event and dust storm affected locations southeast of Phoenix on May 9th. With the lack of rainfall and early onset of heat through central Arizona, the wildfire season erupted through the state; with the Sunflower Fire scorching thousands of acres in northeast Maricopa county. The monsoon season was fairly active for most of the state, however there was one break in the thunderstorm activity where excessive heat set in during the first half of August. The active part of the monsoon season abruptly came to an end by the 2nd week of September, but not before two heavy rainfall events near Phoenix, and also in SW Arizona/SE California. Of course, with thunderstorms during the monsoon season, dusts storms are always a concern, and central Arizona had their share of dust storms during the summer 2012. The end of 2012 was rather quiet with only a few storm systems of note. Here's to another interesting year in weather throughout the desert southwest.

2012 Value Rank
Avg High
88.6
2nd Warmest

Avg Low

64.7
3rd Warmest
Avg Temp
76.7
2nd Warmest
Precip
4.28
15th Driest

 

Year Avg Daily Temp
1989
76.9
2012
76.7
2007
76.4
2003
76.3
2009
76.0
2002
76.0
1981
76.0
Year Avg Max Temp
1989
89.7
2012
88.6
1934
88.3
2002
88.0
1988
88.0
1981
88.0
2007
87.9
Year Avg Min Temp
2003
64.9
2007
64.8
2012
64.7
2001
64.4
2005
64.3
2009
64.2
1989
64.1

 

Avg Max Temp

Highest
Temp
Avg Min Temp
Lowest Temp
Avg Temp
Rank (1=Warmest, 117=Coldest)
Jan
70.9
81 on the 1st
46.5
38 on the 13th
58.7 / +2.3
Tied 4th
Feb
72.5
81 on the 24th & 26th
48.1
42 on the 15th
60.3 / +0.6
Tied 20th
Mar
79.2
94 on the 31st
52.5
42 on the 18th & 20th
65.9 / +0.7
14th
Apr
87.6
105 on the 22nd
62.6
50 on the 14th
75.1 / +2.4
Tied 8th
May
98.2
109 on the 31st
70.9
62 on the 27th
84.5 / +2.4
Tied 8th
Jun
106.5
112 on the 18th
81.0
74 on the 6th
93.8 / +2.9
Tied 2nd
Jul
104.6
113 on the 9th
83.2
74 on the 4th
93.9 / -0.9
Tied 33rd
Aug
105.8
116 on the 8th
84.9
73 on the 23rd
95.3 / +1.7
4th
Sep
99.2
107 on the 2nd
78.1
72 on the 7th & 11th
88.6 / +0.2
18th
Oct
91.3
104 on the 2nd
66.4
57 on the 25th & 26th
78.8 / +2.1
Tied 8th
Nov
81.2
91 on the 5th & 6th
55.6
43 on the 11th
68.4 / +4.3
Tied 2nd
Dec
66.7
82 on the 5th
46.5
37 on the 29th
56.8 / +1.2
Tied 13th
(*** click on month for more comprehensive monthly summary ***)

 

Record Highs Set in 2012
Date Record Previous Record
Jan 1
81 - tied record
81 in 1981
Mar 31
94 - tied record
94 in 2004 & 1989
Apr 21
103 - tied record
103 in 1989
Apr 22
105
99 in 1949 & 1939
Apr 22
105 - Warmest April Temp
105 in 1992 & 1989
Apr 23
103
102 in 1949
May 31
109 - tied record
109 in 2001
Jun 1
111
110 in 1977
Aug 7
112 - tied record
112 in 1905
Aug 8
116
113 in 1991 & 1940
Aug 9
114
112 in 2003, 1995, & 1933
Aug 12
115
114 in 2007
Aug 13
115
113 in 2003 & 1962
Aug 14
113 - tied record
113 in 1988
Dec 5
82 - tied record
82 in 1965 & 1939

 

No Record Lows were set in 2012

 


 

Arizona Statewide Temperature Maps

(Data courtesy of Western Region Climate Center)

Arizona 2012 Max Temperature

AZ 2012 Max T

Arizona 2012 Max Temp Departure from normal

AZ 2012 Max T departure

Arizona 2012 Min Temperature

AZ 2012 Min T

Arizona 2012 Min Temp Departure from normal

AZ 2012 Min T from normal

Arizona 2012 Average Temperature

AZ 2012 Average T

Arizona 2012 Avg Temp Departure from normal

AZ 2012 Avg T departure from normal

 


 

2012 Phoenix Precipitation Statistics
  Precip Total Departure Rank (1=Wettest, 117=Driest)
Jan
T
-0.91
Tied 117th
Feb
T
-0.92
Tied 117th
Mar
0.25
-0.74
Tied 83rd
Apr
0.08
-0.20
Tied 66th
May
0.03
-0.08
Tied 47th
Jun
0.00
-0.02
Tied 117th
Jul
0.96
-0.09
41st
Aug
1.45
+0.45
27th
Sep
0.59
-0.05
44th
Oct
T
-0.58
Tied 117th
Nov
0.05
-0.60
Tied 80th
Dec
0.87
-0.01
Tied 44th
(*** click on month for more comprehensive monthly summary ***)

 

Record Daily Rainfall for 2012
Date Record Previous Record
Mar 18
0.25
0.23 in 1924
Aug 23
0.80
0.56 in 1982

 


 

Arizona Statewide Precipitation Maps

(Data courtesy of Western Region Climate Center)

Arizona 2012 Precipitation

AZ 2012 Precip

Arizona 2012 Precip Departure from normal

Arizona 2012 Precip Percent Normal

AZ 2012 Precip precent normal

 


...PHOENIX 2012 ANNUAL CLIMATE STATISTICS...

 

 

CLIMATE REPORT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PHOENIX AZ

701 AM MST TUE JAN 1 2013

 

...................................

 

...THE PHOENIX AZ CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR THE YEAR OF 2012...

 

CLIMATE NORMAL PERIOD 1981 TO 2010

CLIMATE RECORD PERIOD 1895 TO 2012

 

WEATHER         OBSERVED          NORMAL  DEPART

                 VALUE   DATE(S)  VALUE   FROM

                                          NORMAL

.................................................

TEMPERATURE (F)

RECORD

 HIGH             122   06/26/1990

 LOW               16   01/07/1913

HIGHEST           116   08/08       114       2

LOWEST             37   12/29        35       2

AVG. MAXIMUM     88.7              86.7     2.0

AVG. MINIMUM     64.7              63.5     1.2

MEAN             76.7              75.1     1.6

DAYS MAX >= 90    189             168.8    20.2

DAYS MAX <= 32      0               0.0     0.0

DAYS MAX >= 100   117

DAYS MIN <= 32      0               0.4    -0.4

DAYS MIN <= 0       0               0.0     0.0

 

PRECIPITATION (INCHES)

RECORD

 MAXIMUM        19.73   1905

 MINIMUM         2.82   2002

                        1956

TOTALS           4.28              8.03   -3.75

DAYS >= .01        27              36.6    -9.6

DAYS >= .10        13              18.7    -5.7

DAYS >= .50         2               4.5    -2.5

DAYS >= 1.00        0               1.3    -1.3

GREATEST

 24 HR. TOTAL    0.80   08/23 TO 08/23

 

DEGREE_DAYS

HEATING TOTAL     690               935    -245

 SINCE 7/1        281               401    -120

COOLING TOTAL    5070              4608     462

 SINCE 1/1       5070              4607     463

..............................................................

 

WIND (MPH)

AVERAGE WIND SPEED              5.9

HIGHEST GUST SPEED/DIRECTION    59/270    DATE  03/18

 

AVERAGE RH (PERCENT)     30

 

WEATHER CONDITIONS. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH

THUNDERSTORM             21     HEAVY RAIN                 6

RAIN                     10     LIGHT RAIN                44

FOG W/VIS <= 1/4 MILE     0

 

-  INDICATES NEGATIVE NUMBERS.

R  INDICATES RECORD WAS SET OR TIED.

MM INDICATES DATA IS MISSING.

T  INDICATES TRACE AMOUNT.

Temperature trace

Precip trace

 


Webmaster
US Dept of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
Phoenix Weather Forecast Office
P.O. Box 52025
Phoenix, AZ 85072

Tel: (602) 275-0073

Disclaimer
Information Quality
Credits
Glossary
Organization
Privacy Policy
Freedom of Information Act
About Us
Career Opportunities