Oracle, Arizona:    
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Pinal County, Oracle, AZ 85623

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Weather and Wildflower Summary Month by Month
in Oracle, Arizona


Predicted Weather: Weather Underground
Weather at Oracle Fire Department: OFD Weather Station


Jan
Feb
Mar
   Apr
May
Jun
   Jul
Aug
Sep
   Oct
Nov
Dec

Arctostaphylos pungens: <br>Pointleaf Manzanita
Arctostaphylos pungens:
Pointleaf Manzanita
Examples of Recent Variable Weather Extremes
2011
Excessive winter cold - down to 0°F instead of 15°F.
2012
Little rain in winter - leading to six months of drought before the monsoon.
2013
Two continuous weeks of 10°F temperatures in winter.
Early end to freezing temperatures - February 20 instead of April 15-22.
Four months of drought in spring (starting March 10) before significant rainfall.
No freezing temperatures in the fall.
2014
Winter and spring - no freezing temperatures; only five days of rain over six months.
Summer - monsoon rains less than normal except end of summer.
Fall - no rain until last third of fall. First freezing temperatures and first snow last week of December.
2015
Winter - Snow and freezing temperatures only first week of January, rain every month.
Spring - Rain more frequent than normal, and cooler than normal temperatures, every month. High temperatures started two weeks before summer.
Summer - Monsoon rains started last week of June, carried through first third of September, except for pause in middle third of August. Extremely fierce rains and wind at very end of summer. This was an El Niño year.
Fall - Very rainy in October, normally a dry month. First freeze end of November, first snow and freezing temperatures mid December.
2016
Winter - Freezing temperatures on some days, but lowest temperature 25°F. Rain mostly in January, including snow one day. The normal low is 15°F, so Oracle appears to be in USDA hardiness zone 9a instead of 8b since 2014.
Spring - average rainfall. First week in June saw daytime temperatures over 100°F, earliest date ever. Temperatures over 100°F nearly every day until summer.
Summer - the driest summer on record, with fewer monsoon rains having a shorter duration.
Fall - normal rain a few days each month, then first freeze of season December 18.
2017
Winter - Only one snowfall at start of winter. Occasional freezing temperatures in January and February with lowest temperature 25°F. Frequent rain in January, normal rain in February. No rain in March until first week of spring.
Spring - no rain in April or June, and April was colder than usual. Strong winds were common during April, May and June.
January
Precipitation in January varies from none to abundant rain and snow lasting up to three days. Temperatures are mainly in the thirties to forties at night and forties to fifties during the day. Freezing temperatures at night, in the teens or twenties, are not uncommon. Frequent strong winds and overcast skies can be expected. Wind gusts from Pacific storms can reach 70 mph.

In Oracle, winter temperature minimums are normally 15-19°F uphill (south side) and 20-25°F downhill (north side). Rarely, the temperature will drop to 5°F on the south side (uphill) of Oracle, 10°F north side, and pipes without double insulation can freeze and burst.

Plants in bloom: Manzanita, Rosemary, Winter Iris (blue flowers on 6" stalk).
The best-looking native evergreen shrubs are Turpentine Brush (with rain) and Desert Broom.

February
Precipitation in February varies from none to rainfall several days one or more weeks. Snow or sleet may occur one or more days. Temperatures, in a warm winter, range from the forties at night to the fifties to sixties in the daytime. Temperatures, in a cold winter, range from the thirties to forties in the early morning and forties and fifties during the day. Winds are mild to moderate most years. A few years experience strong wind warnings.

Plants in Bloom by Color
Blue:
Rosemary
Magenta / Purple:
Filaree
Orange:
Desert Globemallow
White:
Desert Anemone, Manzanita, Stemless Daisy
Yellow:
Bladderpod Mustard

March
It usually rains several days throughout March. In some years, it may snow on more than one day. Snow normally melts within 12 hours, but has lasted as long as two days. Snow can often be seen on Mount Lemmon lasting several weeks. Strong winds and overcast days are not uncommon. In warm winters, night-time temperatures ranging from the forties to fifties and daytime temperatures in the sixties to eighties.
In cold winters, night-time temperatures are in the twenties to thirties and daytime temperatures in the forties to sixties. Over any 24 hour period in March, high and low temperatures can vary as much as 25°F although 20°F is the norm.

Plants in Bloom by Color
Blue:
Blue Dicks, Blue Toadflax, Chia, Desert Lupine, Miniature Wool Star, Rosemary, Vinca Major, Wild Heliotrope
Green:
Rabbit Thorn
Magenta / Purple:
Dakota Verbena, Elegant/Bajada Lupine, Filaree, Henbit, Texas Sage
Orange:
California Poppy, Desert Globemallow
Pink:
Fairy Duster, Shrubby Coldenia (red, pink, white), Stiffarm Rock Cress
Red:
Paintbrush (Castilleja integra), Hackberry Beardtongue (Penstemon subulatus)
Varied:
Iris, Tombstone Rose
White:
American Carrot, Bush Morning Glory, Desert Anemone, Desert Ceanothus, Desert Chicory, Dryopetalon, Fleabane, Manzanita, Narrow-Leaved Popcorn Flower, Tackstem
Yellow:
Bladderpod Mustard, Bottle/Desert Evening Primrose (blooms only one night), California Poppy, Desert Marigold, Emory Oak, Euphorbia Rigida, Fiddleneck, Fringed Gromwell, Wright's Deervetch, London Rocket, Mormon Tea, Silver Puffs, Tackstem, Three-Leaf Sumac, Winter Jasmine, Yellow Linanthus

Of all the native plants in bloom, Blue Dicks, California Poppy, Desert Lupine, Paintbrush and Scarlet Bugler are the most colorful this month.
Wild honeybees swarm in the spring, and a migrating swarm may temporarily "rest" for a day on your property. Leave them alone and they will move on.
The first hummingbird south of route 77 (deciduous tree side of Oracle), in 2015, was seen March 25, before most trees had leafed out. Time to break out the hummingbird feeder.

April
There may be no rain to rainfall nearly once a week in April. It seldom snows, but snow can fall for most of one day and then melt away the next. Low temperatures are in the thirties and forties at the start of the month and in the forties and fifties by the end. Freezing temperatures were common in the middle of April and occurred as late as April 22 until 2013. High temperatures, in the first two weeks, vary from the sixties in cold years to the seventies in warm years. High temperatures at the end of the month can be in the seventies to eighties.
April usually shows a clear transition between winter cold and summer heat, with rising temperatures interrupted by the occasional cold front. Low and high temperatures can vary as much as 30°F in one day. Strong winds are common. On a few days sustained wind speeds of 25-30 mph will last an entire day with wind gusts up to 50 mph.

Plants in Bloom by Color
Blue:
Blue Dicks, Blue Toadflax, Desert Lupine, Miniature Wool Star, Paleface Delphinium, Rosemary, Scurf Pea, Wild Heliotrope
Green:
Antelope Horns (green and maroon), Desert Pipevine (green and brown), Rabbit Thorn
Magenta / Purple:
Bajada Lupine, Dakota Verbena, Desert Four-O'clock, Filaree, New Mexico Thistle, Perezia, Rainbow Cactus, Range Ratany, Ribbon Four O'clock, Sand Verbena, Silver Leaf Nightshade, Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus, Tansyaster, Trailing Indigo Bush
Orange:
Aloe saponaria, California Poppy, Desert Globemallow, Desert Mariposa, Engelmann's Prickly Pear, Littleleaf Globemallow, Sida
Pink:
Palmer's Penstemon, Fairy Duster, Perezia, Pincushion Cactus
Red:
Paintbrush (Castilleja integra), Red Yucca, Salvia greggii, Hackberry Beardtongue (Penstemon subulatus)
Varied:
Iris, Tombstone Rose
White:
Banana Yucca, Bush Morning Glory, Cream Cups, Desert Ceanothus, Desert Chicory, Desert Onion, Elderberry, Fleabane, Hall's Honeysuckle, Horehound, Manzanita, Narrow-Leaved Popcorn Flower, Sego Lily, Stemless Primrose, Tackstem (white or pale yellow), Tufted Globe Amaranth, White Aster, White Margin Spurge, White Nightshade, White Prickly Poppy
Yellow:
Bahia, Broom Snakeweed, Bottle/Desert Evening Primrose (blooms only one night), California Poppy, Desert Marigold, Desert Mariposa, Elderberry, Emory Oak, Engelmann's Prickly Pear, Fiddleneck, Goldfields, Golden Columbine, Hollyleaf Redberry (yellow to yellow-green), Mormon Tea, Needleleaf Dogweed, Paperflower, Reddome Blanketflower, Silver Puffs, Thick-leaved Ground Cherry (Ivyleaf Groundcherry), Three-leaf Sumac, Western Wallflower, Winter Jasmine, Wright's Deervetch, Yellow Linanthus

The most commonly visible native wildflowers are Bahia, Broom Snakeweed, Dakota Verbena, Desert Globemallow, Desert Marigold, Fairy Duster, Fleabane, Miniature Wool Star, New Mexico Thistle and Wild Heliotrope.

Green fruit of Manzanita and Three-Leaf Sumac start turning red during the month.
Wild honeybees swarm in the spring, and a migrating swarm may temporarily "rest" for a day on your property. Leave them alone and they will move on.

May
On average, May is the lowest rainfall month of the year. Rain may vary from none to nearly once a week. Low temperatures are in the forties and fifties at the start of the month and in the fifties to low sixties by the end. High temperatures are in the sixties to eighties at the start of the month, and eighties to low nineties at the end. Low and high temperatures in a typical day vary by 30°F. Most days are windy with occasional strong gusts. On a few days sustained wind speeds of 25-30 mph will last an entire day with wind gusts up to 45 mph.

Plants in Bloom by Color
Blue:
Arizona Blue Eyes, Desert Lupine, Miniature Wool Star, Scurf Pea, Small Wirelettuce, Wild Heliotrope
Green:
Antelope Horns (green and maroon), Desert Pipevine (green and brown)
Magenta / Purple:
Cane Cholla, Dakota Verbena, Desert Four-O'clock, Filaree, New Mexico Thistle, Perezia, Rainbow Cactus, Range Ratany, Ribbon Four O'clock, Silverleaf Nightshade, Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus, Tansyaster, Trailing Four O'clock, Trailing Indigo Bush
Orange:
California Poppy, Copper Purslane, Desert Globemallow, Engelmann's Prickly Pear, Littleleaf Globemallow, Sida, Wooly Butterfly Bush
Pink:
Palmer's Penstemon, Desert Willow, Fairy Duster, Mexican Evening Primrose, Perezia
Red:
Ocotillo, Paintbrush, Red Yucca
Varied:
Climbing Milkweed (green, yellow, white, maroon), Lantana, Oleander
White:
American Carrot, Banana Yucca, Bear Grass, Cat-Claw Mimosa, Desert-Chicory, Desert Tobacco, Elderberry, Fleabane, Odora, Sego Lily, Tufted Globe Amaranth, Western Soapberry, White Margin Spurge, White Nightshade, White Prickly Poppy
Yellow:
Bahia, Broom Snakeweed, California Poppy, Canyon Grape, Cat-Claw Acacia, Desert Dandelion, Desert Marigold, Elderberry, Engelmann's Prickly Pear, Fiddleneck, Gray Felt Thorn, Hollyleaf Redberry (yellow to yellow-green), Wright's Deervetch, Mormon Tea, Paperflower, Reddome Blanketflower, San Felipe Dyssodia, Sundrops, Thick-leaved Ground Cherry (Ivyleaf Groundcherry), Twin Leaf Senna, Velvet Mesquite, Western Wallflower, Whitethorn Acacia, Yellow Bird of Paradise, Yellow Columbine, Yellow Linanthus, Yerba de Pasmo

Red berries of Three-Leaf Sumac are ready for harvest. Desert Ceanothus drops its dried fruit by the end of the month. The most commonly seen wildflowers are Broom Snakeweed, Dakota Verbena, Desert Marigold, Elderberry, Fleabane, Globemallow, Sida, Thistle and White Prickly Poppy. At the end of the month, White Prickly Poppy is the most commonly visible wildflower.
Wild honeybees swarm in the spring, and a migrating swarm may temporarily "rest" for a day on your property. Leave them alone and they will move on. Chiggers and Mosquitoes appear as early as mid-May.

June
In an average year, it will rain only one day in June, although no rain at all is common. The Monsoon Season, however, has been officially defined as starting in the middle of June. On years with wet summers, precursor rains appear in the first three weeks of the month followed by monsoon rains in the fourth week. Low temperatures are usually in the sixties and seventies with high temperatures in the high nineties. Heat waves may occur on some days with lows in the seventies and highs in the one hundreds.
An occasional Pacific cold front will blow through, providing strong gusting winds with low temperatures in the low fifties and highs in the low eighties. Most days the wind will vary from none or mild to moderate speeds. On a few days sustained wind speeds of 25-30 mph will last an entire day with wind gusts up to 45 mph. Occasional strong gusts, lasting for a few minutes to hours, appear as often as half of the days of the month.

Plants in Bloom by Color
Blue:
Arizona Blue Eyes, Fountain Butterfly Bush, Miniature Wool Star, Small Wirelettuce, Thurber's Stephanomeria
Magenta / Purple:
Cane Cholla, Filaree, Hoary Tansyaster, New Mexico Thistle, Range Ratany, Silverleaf Nightshade, Tansyaster, Trailing Four O'clock
Orange:
Copper Purslane, Engelmann's Prickly Pear, Globemallow, Wooly Butterfly Bush
Pink:
Desert Willow, Fairy Duster, Field Bindweed, Mexican Evening Primrose
Red:
Ocotillo, Penstemon Barbatus, Red Yucca
Varied:
Climbing Milkweed (green, yellow, white or maroon), Lantana, Oleander
White:
Bear Grass, Cat-Claw Mimosa, Desert Spoon, Elderberry, Fleabane, Odora, Photinia, Sacred Datura, Saguaro Cactus, Soapweed Yucca, Western Soapberry, White Prickly Poppy
Yellow:
Broom Snakeweed, Cat-Claw Acacia, Chilean (hybrid) Mesquite, Desert Marigold, Engelmann's Prickly Pear, Goldenflower Century Plant (Agave chrysantha), Palo Verde, San Felipe Dyssodia, Sunflower, Thick-leaved Ground Cherry (Ivyleaf Groundcherry), Thimblehead, Twin Leaf Senna, Velvet Mesquite, Western Wallflower, Whitethorn Acacia, Yellow Bird of Paradise, Yellow Columbine

Fruit of Manzanita (red), Rabbit Thorn (dark purple) and Three Leaf Sumac (red-brown) are ready for harvest. Acorns of Emory Oak are starting to form. Elderberry fruit ripen by the end of the month on those trees with sufficient water resources. Tree of Heaven seed pod clusters are forming, turning colors of yellow, pink, and red, sometimes mistaken for flowers. Canyon Grape vines are climbing over everything within reach. Chigger and mosquito season intensifies with monsoon rains.

July
The month of July is usually humid and often quite variable, swinging from cool and rainy one day to hot and sunny the next. The skies are often cloudy, reducing temperatures by as much as ten degrees. Some years, heavy rains are frequent, nearly every day in some weeks. Other years see very little rain until the fourth week of July in spite of clouds and humidity. A typical year, however, will see monsoon rains start the first week.
The first three weeks of July are often very windy with occasional strong gusts but the wind often tapers off toward the end of the month. Low temperatures reach the high sixties to low seventies while daytime highs can be in the high eighties to 105°F.

Plants in Bloom by Color
Blue:
Arizona Blue Eyes, Small Wirelettuce, Snapdragon Vine
Green:
Desert Pipevine (green and brown)
Magenta / Purple:
Dakota Verbena, Desert Four O'clock, Dicliptera, Filaree, Hoary Tansyaster, Range Ratany, Silverleaf Nightshade, Snapdragon Vine, Tansyaster, Texas Sage
Orange:
Arizona Poppy, Copper Purslane, Globemallow, Orange Flameflower, Sida, Trumpet Creeper Vine, Woolly Butterfly Bush
Pink:
Desert Willow, Mexican Evening Primrose, Spinystar Cactus (Escobaria vivipara) starts blooming after 10 years, then blooms every year.
Red:
Firewheel, Red Bird of Paradise, Red Yucca, Penstemon Barbatus, Winged Purslane
Varied:
Lantana, Oleander
White:
Black Foot Daisy, Desert Spoon, Desert Zinnia, Fern Acacia, Fleabane, Redwhisker Clammyweed, Sacred Datura, Shrubby Buckwheat, Silver Morning Glory, Soapweed Yucca, Threaded Spurge, White Margin Spurge, White Prairie Clover, White Prickly Poppy
Yellow:
Buffalo-bur, Camphorweed, Deervetch, Desert Marigold, Finger-leaved Gourd, Goldenflower Century Plant (Agave chrysantha), Slimpod Senna, Sunflower, Thick-leaved Ground Cherry (Ivyleaf Groundcherry), Thimblehead, Twin Leaf Senna, Western Wallflower, Wright's Deervetch, Yellow Bells, Yellow Bird of Paradise

Elderberry fruit is ripe at the start of the month. Ebony Oak acorns ripen and fall this month. Berries of Hollyleaf Redberry are turning red.
Many of the flowers listed above will bloom in July only with abundant monsoon rains.

August
Rainfall in August varies considerably, ranging from nearly every day in some years to once a week in others. Monsoon rains usually drop off toward the end of the month. Skies are often cloudy. Humidity varies with rainfall. Some years will see 1/2 inch hailstones for a few minutes on one or two days. Low temperatures are normally in the high sixties to low seventies. If a rainy cold front sweeps through, lows may be in the low to mid sixties. Daytime highs are in the nineties but may vary from the low eighties with abundant rain to low one-hundreds when dry.
Wind varies from almost none in some years to frequent strong winds in others. August is often the least windy month of summer.

Plants in Bloom by Color
Blue:
Arizona Blue Eyes, Rosemary, Scurf Pea, Small Wirelettuce, Western Spiderwort, Woolly Morning Glory vine
Green:
Desert Pipevine, Spreading Sida
Magenta / Purple:
Dakota Verbena, Desert Four O'clock, Filaree, Hoary Tansyaster, Purple Nightshade, Range Ratany, Ribbon Four O'clock, Silverleaf Nightshade, Tansyaster, Texas Sage
Orange:
Arizona Poppy, Copper Purslane, Desert Honeysuckle, Globemallow, Orange Flameflower, Sida
Pink:
Desert Willow, Fairy Duster, Hoary Bindweed
Red:
Winged Purslane, Compass Barrel Cactus, Desert Paintbrush, Firewheel, Penstemon Barbatus, Red Spiderling, Scarlet Creeper Vine.
Varied:
Lantana, Oleander
White:
Catclaw Mimosa, Desert Tobacco, Devil's Claw, Fern Acacia, Fleabane, Fringed Amaranth, Odora, Redwhisker Clammyweed, Sacred Datura, Shrubby Buckwheat, Silver Morning Glory, White Margin Spurge, White Nightshade, White Prairie Clover, White Prickly Poppy, Wild Cotton
Yellow:
Abert's Dome, Broom Snakeweed, Camphorweed, Desert Marigold, Finger-leaved Gourd, Five-needle Fetid Marigold, Golden Crownbeard, Burro Weed, Mesquite, Paperflower, Puncture Vine, Slimpod Senna, Sunflower, Tacoma Stans, Thick-Leaved Ground Cherry, Thimblehead, Tree Tobacco, Twin Leaf Senna, Western Wallflower, Whitethorn Acacia, Wright's Deervetch, Yellow Bird of Paradise, Yellow Spiny Daisy.

Berries of Hollyleaf Redberry are turning red on late-blooming plants. Western Soapberry trees are dropping their pale green-yellow fruit. Dark red fruit of Engelmann's Prickly Pear are ready for harvest. In low rainfall years most elderberry trees have lost their leaves; in wet years, most will still be blooming.

September
The monsoon season officially ends the last day of September. Rain usually drops off considerably from August. Heavy rains used to end within the first week, but recently rains occur almost daily for the first two weeks, often at night. Some years have seen no rain this month. Low temperatures vary from the high fifties to low seventies, mostly in the mid-sixties. Daytime highs are in the eighties to nineties. Winds are variably mild to strong and gusty.

Plants in Bloom by Color
Blue:
Arizona Blue Eyes, Many-Flowered Gilia, Small Wirelettuce, Western Spiderwort, Woolly Morning Glory vine
Magenta / Purple:
Dakota Verbena, Desert Four O'clock, Hoary Tansyaster, Range Ratany, Silver-Leaf Nightshade, Tansyaster
Orange:
Arizona Poppy, Copper Purslane, Desert Globemallow, Sida
Pink:
Fairy Duster, Hoary Bindweed
Red:
Compass Barrel Cactus, Paintbrush, Red Spiderling, Scarlet Creeper vine.
White:
Desert Tobacco, Devil's Claw, Elderberry (when situated in a low, water-collecting area), Fern Acacia, Fleabane, Fringed Amaranth, Redwhisker Clammyweed, Sacred Datura, Shrubby Buckwheat, Sweet Four O'clock, White Clematis vine, White Margin Spurge, White Nightshade, White Prickly Poppy.
Yellow:
Broom Snakeweed, Camphorweed, Cat-claw Acacia, Cudweed, Desert Marigold, Golden Crownbeard, Burro Weed, Goldeneye, Paper Flower, Puncture Vine, Sunflower, Thick-Leaved Ground Cherry, Thimblehead, Twin Leaf Senna, Wright's Deervetch, Yellow Bird of Paradise, Yellow Spiny Daisy

Camphorweed, Dakota Verbena (during heavy rainfall years), Thimblehead and Sacred Datura are the most widespread and persistent.
Grasshoppers have reached their peak this the month. Chigger infestations in tall grass fade away at the start of fall with the persistence of cooler weather. The year's second brood of Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars is seen every week in September. Spittlebug foam nests are reported on Rosemary and other plants.

October
It often rains only one day in the month. October often shows a clear change from summer to fall. Low temperatures may start in the sixties but drop to the thirties to fifties when a Pacific cold front is pushing through. Daytime highs are mostly in the seventies and eighties but can range from the sixties in cold years to low nineties in warm ones. Daily highs in the seventies are rare for most of the year, with a tendency to be above or below that range. Many days of the month are very windy.

Plants in Bloom by Color
Blue:
Small Wirelettuce (Stephanomeria exigua), Woolly Morning Glory
Magenta / Purple:
Dakota Verbena, Filaree, Hoary Tansyaster, Tansyaster
Orange:
Desert Globemallow, Sida
Pink / Red:
Fairy Duster, Sorrel Buckwheat
Varied:
Lantana, Oleander
White:
Brickellia, Desert Broom, Elderberry (when situated in a low, water-collecting area), Fleabane, Sacred Datura (on western slopes), Shrubby Buckwheat
Yellow:
Camphorweed, Cudweed, Desert Marigold, Burro Weed, Goldeneye, Missouri Goldenrod, Sunflower, Tecoma Stans, Thimblehead, Turpentine Brush, Yellow Spiny Daisy

The orange-red berries of Pyracantha make a colorful showing.
In high rainfall years elderberry trees have regained their leaves and are in their second bloom of the year.
In low rainfall years, the most reliable fall wildflowers are camphorweed, cudweed, sacred datura, sunflower and thimblehead.
Tall grass is green at the start of October although all seeds have dropped. By the end of the month grass will have turned brown. In high rainfall years grasshoppers are numerous at the start, but most disappear by the end of the month.
The small white flowers of Desert Broom are heavily visited by bees and some small butterflies in the last half of the month.
Plants attracting the most butterflies are Autumn Sage, red Lantana, Butterfly Milkweed, and Desert Broom.

November
Freezing temperatures of fall may first appear in November, especially the last week of the month. Temperatures for the month start out moderate, and then often drop abruptly into winter toward the end. Lows are in the high forties and fifties at the beginning and by the end are in the teens to fifties. Highs start in the seventies, and then drop to the twenties in really cold years to the sixties in warm years. November is on average the driest month of the year outside of May. Significant rain is rare, but December rains will occasionally appear early in the last week of November during a wet year. Winds often become calmer and less frequent toward the end of the month.

Plants in Bloom by Color
Blue:
Small Wirelettuce
Magenta / Purple:
Dakota Verbena, Filaree, Tansyaster
Orange:
Wright's Desert Honeysuckle
Pink:
Fairy Duster
White:
Desert Broom, Fleabane, Sacred Datura
Yellow:
Camphorweed, Desert Marigold, Goldeneye, Sunflower, Turpentine Brush

Desert Broom plants begin dispersing white fluffy seeds.

December
Low temperatures range from the twenties to forties. High temperatures range between the forties and sixties. The month may be very dry, with one light rain sprinkle, or wet, with heavy rains on several days. Snow, if it occurs, can first appear for the fall and winter season in December. The first week of December may bring fog and heavy rain or continue a fall drought. Hard freezes are common. Strong winds up to 55 mph can bring plunging temperatures. The north face of Mount Lemmon will sometimes be covered with snow.

Plants in Bloom by Color
Blue:
Small Wirelettuce and Toadflax in years with wet summers
Magenta / Purple:
Filaree in years with wet summers
White:
Fleabane in years with wet summers
Yellow:
Annual Goldeneye (may appear after rain), Camphorweed

In December, the leaves of Western Cottonwood and Tree of Heaven turn yellow and drop. Elderberry trees, with a prolonged fall drought, will lose their leaves for the second time in the year. The leaves on Catclaw Mimosa (Wait-A-Minute Bush) turn brown and drop by the end of December. The leaves of Catclaw Acacia and Velvet Mesquite do not turn brown, but thin out, dropping when they are still pale green until none are left. Desert Broom plants display their white fluffy seeds through the end of the month. The best looking plant this time of year is Pyracantha which has glossy green leaves and heavy clusters of orange berries.