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Tucson climate report for 2012
[Back to monthly climate reports page] [Temperature and precipitation chart]
2012 climate report for Tucson
 
Top headlines
2nd warmest year on record
18th driest year on record
Top 5 weather stories for Tucson
 

2012 came very close to tying the warmest year on record which occurred in 1989 (71.4°) with an yearly average temperature of 71.3°. Tucsonan's can thank an active start to the monsoon, which resulted in a cooler than normal July, that 2012 didn't go into the record book as either tied or as the warmest year on record..

 
TEMPERATURE data for 2012
 
The average yearly temperature of 71.3° was nearly TWO degrees above the 1981-2010 normal and ranks as the 2nd WARMEST year on record. This is the 14th straight year of above normal temperatures. In fact, dating back to 1984 only one year (1998, 68.1°) has been below normal.
 
The average yearly high temperature of 85.6° ranks as the 3rd warmest on record, exceeded by 1989 (86.9°) & 1910 (85.8°). The average yearly low temperature of 57.1° ranks as the 3rd warmest on record, exceeded by 2005 (57.5°) & 2009 (57.3°). The second earliest first triple digit high on record occurred on April 22nd. For a time, Tucson was on track through June to threaten the all-time record for the most triple digit highs in year of 99 days which occurred in 1994. But the active start to the monsoon and a cooler than normal July put an end to that. Here is a graphic that showed the daily trace for 2012 versus 1994 & normal.
 
2012 daily high temperature departure from normal 2012 daily low temperature departure from normal
Click on image above for larger view
 

Temperature headlines for 2012:

 
  • Warmest Thanksgiving weekend on record
  • 2nd earliest 1st 100° on record
  • 3rd hottest August on record
  • 4th warmest January & November on record
  • 4th warmest Fall on record
  • 5th hottest June on record
  • 6th hottest Summer on record
  • 7th hottest May on record
  • 11th highest number of days with triple digit highs (73)

Temperature extremes for 2012 ranged from a high of 109° on August 12th and 13th to a low of 29° on March 3rd. The high temperature in Tucson hit 100° or greater 73 times, which ranks as the 11th most in a year on record. The yearly average is 62 days. The most consecutive number of days that Tucson had a high of 100° or greater was 22 days (June 11 to July 2). The mercury dipped to the freezing mark or colder seven times in 2012 compared to 21 in 2011.

 

Twenty temperature records were set/tied in 2012 (10 highs, 2 low maximums & 8 high minimums) The records are listed in chronological order below.

 
         
Temperature records set/tied during 2012
Record type Date Record Previous Year(s)
High January 1, 2012 80° 79° 1981
High Minimum January 2, 2012 58° 56° 1922
Low Maximum March 19, 2012 50° (tied) 50° 2006
High March 31, 2012 91° (tied) 91° 1989/1969
High April 22, 2012 101° 98° 1965
High April 23, 2012 100° 96° 1949
High Minimum April 23, 2012 67° (tied) 67° 1997
High Minimum May 16, 2012 77° 73° 1970/1940
High Minimum May 18, 2012 74° 71° 1997/1937
High June 1, 2012 107° 105° 2002/1997/1938
High Minimum June 24, 2012 82° (tied) 82° 2006
High Minimum June 25, 2012 81° (tied) 81° 2010/1970
Low Maximum July 4, 2012 86° 90° 1962/1912
High Minimum August 8, 2012 82° (tied) 82° 1980
High August 8, 2012 108° 107° 1995
High August 12, 2012 109° 108° 1993
High August 13, 2012 109° 106° 1996/1994/1962
High August 14, 2012 106° (tied) 106° 1994/1988/1898
High November 7, 2012 90° (tied) 90° 2007
High Minimum November 8, 2012 60° 59° 1988/1931
 
Month-by-month statistical recap for Tucson International airport
Click on individual month for full climate report
Year Avg. high Avg. Low Avg. Temp Precip.
January 70.0° 41.1° 55.6° 0.14"
February 69.9° 41.3° 55.6° 0.08"
March 76.6° 44.5° 60.6° 0.34"
April 85.5° 54.0° 69.8° 0.12"
May 95.0° 63.0° 79.0° Trace
June 103.4° 72.2° 87.8° 0.34"
July 97.3° 74.2° 85.7° 4.13"
August 100.5° 75.8° 88.2° 1.17"
September 94.2° 69.9° 82.1° 0.38"
October 88.8° 58.0° 73.4° Trace
November 79.6° 49.9° 64.8° 0.03"
December 66.1° 40.7° 53.4° 1.18"
2012 85.6° 57.1° 71.3° 7.91"
1981-2010 normals 83.1° 55.8° 69.4° 11.59"
Click on a month for full climate report previously posted.
 
RAINFALL for 2012

June (0.34"; 25th wettest); July (4.13"; 15th wettest) and December (1.18"; 35th wettest) were the only months that the airport recorded above normal rainfall. Rainfall totals across the metro area for 2012, using several sources like rainlog.org, the Pima County Regional Flood Control District gages and CoCoRaHS, ranged widely from 5"-13" with localized areas recording up to 15". The airport, the official recording spot for Tucson, recorded only 7.91" which is 3.68" below normal and ranks as the 18th driest year on record.

 
Rainfall amounts across the metro area for Monsoon 2012, using several sources like rainlog.org, the Pima County Regional Flood Control District gauges and CoCoRaHS, varied widely and ranged from a 2.50" to 12.50". Officially, the airport recorded 6.02" with 42% of this total occurring in a three day period in July (13th thru 15th).
 
Rainfall records set at Tucson International Airport in 2012
Date Record Previous Year
June 16, 2012 0.29" 0.20" 1918
This ranks as the 27th wettest June day on record at official recording station.
July 4, 2012 0.78" 0.70" 1921
 

 
Looking ahead into 2013

The Climate Prediction Center forecasts that ENSO conditions will be near neutral status for most of 2013. For temperatures, the entire year will have enhanced probabilities of temperatures being above normal, with another HOT summer likely. For precipitation, there will be enhanced probabilities for below normal precipitation through meteorological spring then equal chances for either above or below normal precipitation for the rest of the year. No clear signal on how the 2013 monsoon will shape up.

   
Normal high temperature 83.1°
Normal low temperature 55.8°
Normal monthly temperature 69.4°
Record high temperature 117° on June 26, 1990
Record low temperature 6° on January 7, 1913
Warmest Year (avg) 71.4° in 1989
Coldest Year (avg) 65.0° in 1912
Normal rainfall 11.59"
Wettest day 3.93" on July 29, 1958
Wettest Year 24.17" in 1905
Driest Year 5.07" in 1924
   
 
Glueck

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