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Tucson climate report for 2013
[Back to monthly climate reports page] [Temperature and precipitation chart]
2013 climate report for Tucson
 
Top headlines
5th warmest year on record
22nd driest year on record
Top 5 weather stories for Tucson
 

Coming off the 2nd warmest year on record, Tucsonans were hoping for some cooler temperatures. The year started off that way with January and February being colder than normal and combined together were ranked as the 28th coldest January/February period on record. The remainder of the year was well above normal with only one month, October, being below normal. In fact, thanks to the 2nd warmest Spring, 2nd hottest Summer and 15th warmest Fall on record, the last 10 months of 2013 ranks as the 2nd warmest on record for this period.

 
The image below shows the cumulative departure from normal calculated through every day of 2013. A you can see the year started cooler than normal. By April 25th, the cumulative departure from normal started above normal and stay above normal for the remainder of 2013.
 
2013 daily cumulative departure from normal
 
TEMPERATURE data for 2013
 
The average yearly temperature of 70.8° was 1.4° above the 1981-2010 normal and ranks as the 5th WARMEST year on record. This is the 15th straight year of above normal temperatures. In fact, dating back to 1984 only one year (1998, 68.1°) has been below normal.
 
Top 5 warmest years on record
Rank
Average yearly temperature
Year
1)
71.4°
1989
2)
71.3°
2012
3)
71.2°
2009
4)
71.0°
1994
5)
70.8°
2013
Normal yearly temperature (1981-2010) - 69.4°
 
The average yearly high temperature of 84.4° ranks as the 13th warmest on record. The average yearly low temperature of 57.2° ranks as the 2nd warmest on record, tied with 2009. These years were exceeded by 2005 (57.5°). For the first time since 2004, the first triple digit high of the year occurred in June (1st).
 
2013 daily high temperature departure from normal 2013 daily low temperature departure from normal
Click on image above for larger view
 

Temperature headlines for 2013:

 
  • HOTTEST June on record
  • Most consecutive days with lows 70° or greater (81, June 7 to Augut 26)
  • 2nd warmest March on record
  • 2nd warmest Spring on record
  • 2nd hottest Summer on record
  • 5th hottest August on record
  • 7th warmest November on record
  • 10th warmest April & May on record
  • 10th most number of days of triple digit highs (74)

Temperature extremes for 2013 ranged from a high of 112° on June 29th to a daily record low of 17° on January 15th. The high temperature in Tucson hit 100° or greater 74 times, which is tied with 2009 & 2010 for the 10th most in a year on record. The yearly average is 62 days. The airport recorded 39 consecutive days of triple digit highs (June 1 to July 9) which tied the all-time record, first set in 1987 and later tied in 2005). The mercury dipped to the freezing mark or colder 20 times in 2013 compared to seven times in 2012. The airport recorded four days where the mercury was 25° or colder, which is the most in a year since 1987 (also 4 days).

 

Twenty-eight temperature records were set or tied in 2013 (10 highs, 1 low maximum, 15 high minimums & 2 lows). January led the way with seven records being set or tied, which is the most in January since 1949 when thirteen daily records were set or tied. The records are listed below in chronological order.

 
Temperature records set or tied during 2013
Record type Date Record Previous Year(s)
Low January 14 21° 22° 1940
Low January 15 17° 20° 2007
Low Maximum January 15 47° (tied) 47° 1949
High January 22 81° 80° 1986
High January 23 80° (tied) 80° 1986
High Minimum January 24 56° 54° 2006
High Minimum January 26 55° 53° 2005
High March 13 89° 88° 1989/1916
High March 14 92° 89° 2007/1934
High March 15 94° 93° 1910
High Minimum May 13 71° 69° 1996/1943
High Minimum May 14 71° (tied) 71° 1996
High June 2 107° 105° 2004/1994/1956
High Minimum June 3 75° (tied) 75° 1957
High Minimum June 29 84° (tied) 84° 1898
High Minimum July 4 83° (tied) 83° 1953
High Minimum August 15 81° (tied) 81° 1994
High Minimum August 16 82° 80° 2002/1962
High August 16 108° (tied) 108° 1992
High August 17 108° 107° 1992
High August 18 107° 106° 1987
High Minimum September 13 76° (tied) 76° 1946
High Minimum September 14 78° (tied) 78° 1905
High Minimum September 16 80° 77° 1998
High Minimum September 17 81° (tied) 81° 1928
High Minimum November 13 63° 60° 1990
High Minimum November 16 60° (tied) 60° 1936/1906
High December 17 83° 82° 1939
         
 
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 63.2° 36.5° 49.9° 0.81"
February 64.3° 37.4° 50.9° 0.79"
March 80.9° 50.5° 65.7° 0.01"
April 85.0° 54.6° 69.8° 0.12"
May 93.2° 64.5° 78.9° 0.01"
June 105.4° 73.5° 89.5° 0.03"
July 99.0° 76.9° 88.0° 2.60"
August 99.5° 75.6° 87.6° 0.48"
September 95.5° 70.4° 83.0° 0.63"
October 85.4° 55.1° 70.3° 0.00"
November 75.8° 50.9° 63.4° 2.22"
December 66.0° 40.5° 53.2° 0.83"
2013 84.4° 57.2° 70.8° 8.53"
1981-2010 normals 83.1° 55.8° 69.4° 11.59"
Click on a month for full climate report previously posted.
 
RAINFALL for 2013

July (2.60"; 38th wettest) and November (2.22"; 7th wettest) were the only months that the airport recorded above normal rainfall. Rainfall totals across the metro area for 2013, using several sources like rainlog.org, the Pima County Regional Flood Control District gages and CoCoRaHS, ranged widely from 5"-15" with localized areas recording up to 17". The airport, the official recording spot for Tucson, recorded 8.53" which is 3.06" below normal and ranks as the 22nd driest year on record. This is the 12th year since 2000 that below normal rainfall has been recorded at the International airport.

 
Rainfall records set at Tucson International Airport in 2013
Date Record Previous Year
January 26, 2013 0.71" 0.67" 1985
This ranks as the 21st wettest January day on record at the official recording station.
 

Other precipitation headlines for 2013:

 
  • Snow on February 20th, 1-3" across the metro area with localized 4" spots
  • 54 consecutive days with no rain (May 7 to June 29)
  • 2.10" Wettest 3 day period of the year (November 21-23)
  • 7th wettest November on record
  • 8th driest Spring on record
  • 8th driest August on record
  • 9th driest March on record
  • 13th straight October with below normal rain

 
Looking ahead into 2014

The Climate Prediction Center forecasts that ENSO neutral conditions through summer 2014. 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 2014 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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