A quasi-permanent subtropical high-pressure ridge above the region is responsible for the region's low yearly precipitation, clear sky, and year-round mild environment. The highest average monthly rainfall occurs in August when the area is submerged in a tropical storm or hurricane.
The dry climate of the Southwest has led to its being called the "Lone Star State" or "Dirt Cheap Texas." There are no significant bodies of water in the region so evaporative loss is not a problem for its deserts. As a result, the soil tends to be very dry and requires more irrigation than other regions of the country.
In addition to being one of the driest regions in the country, the Southwest also has some of the most volatile weather patterns. This is due to its location far away from any ocean currents or large bodies of water that would otherwise provide some stability. For example, summertime storms that develop in the Gulf of Mexico often don't reach the Southwest because they're blocked by mountains to the north.
During winter months, the Southwest is also subject to powerful thunderstorms and tornadoes that originate with tropical systems as they move up along the Mexican border. These storms can cause a great deal of damage when they cross into Arizona and New Mexico.
Why does the inland west get so little rain? Between the Pacific and Rockies mountains, hot, dry air becomes trapped. This is called a desert environment. The desert environment causes rain to evaporate before it can reach the ground. Rainfall is also affected by surface tension. As water vapor in the atmosphere reaches temperatures below 32 degrees F, it will change into liquid water or ice. There are two types of deserts: dry and wet.
Dry deserts like the Sahara or Great Plains have no permanent streams or lakes. Dry deserts get most of their moisture from the ocean. Sea salt creates some areas that look like small deserts, such as the Bahama Islands or Coachella Valley. Wet deserts have more freshwater than land areas with a similar climate elsewhere on Earth. Examples include the California coast or Florida's Everglades. Wet deserts get most of their water from precipitation that drains into underground reservoirs and then flows out as springs or seeping into the soil when it rains harder outside of the desert.
Some deserts only get a few inches of rain per year, while others like the Kalahari get half of its weight in rain. Deserts are usually defined by how much rainfall they get in comparison to other places with similar climates.
Because much of the Southwest is desert, the temperature is hot and dry, with little rain. Many parts of the Southwest see 300 days of sunlight each year! The Southwest area has a pleasant climate. That suggests the weather isn't changing much. It's usually not cold, but it can get hot too.
The Southwest includes parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Utah. It's known for its sun-baked landscapes and hotel chains (the Southwest is home to Disneyland!).
In conclusion, the Southwest is a great place to visit if you like the sun and heat!
The equatorial region receives an abundance of precipitation. The equatorial belt's high temperature, high humidity, and very unstable air all contribute to the high level of rainfall. The trade winds from both hemispheres converge, causing a general upward movement of air. As this air rises, it becomes more humid and less dense; thus, it will lose its heat capacity and return to Earth's surface.
The atmosphere near the ground is always moving because air is constantly flowing into areas that are lower than others. This flow causes clouds to form and disappear as well as carries water vapor from land to sky. The concentration of water vapor increases with altitude, so more intense showers or storms can be expected at higher levels of the atmosphere.
The average daily temperature in the equatorial region is about 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius). Warm ocean waters help heat up the air above them which then releases that energy through raindrops when it cools down at night.
There are two main factors that determine where tropical storms and hurricanes form. The first factor is sea surface temperatures: the warmer the water, the stronger the storm that forms. The second factor is atmospheric conditions: if there is a low-pressure area over a large area of warm water, then a storm is likely to form.
Precipitation in the Southwest is very seasonal, with a few rainy months in winter and a few more in late summer. Groundwater resources rely heavily on winter precipitation. Summer storms are often localized and brief, but winter storms can be huge and protracted. Heavy snowfall can cause roads to close, schools to shut down, and businesses to shut down. These storms can also lead to flooding when it melts later in the year.
The best times to visit the Southwest are spring and fall. Those are also the least expensive seasons to travel here. The region has a strong desert climate, so you'll need to bring along any warm clothes you might need for night time temperatures.
There are four distinct weather patterns within the Southwest. They are as follows: arid continental, semi-arid, humid subtropical, and temperate.
The arid continental climate is found in far northern New Mexico and parts of Arizona. Here it can reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 100 at night. Winters are cold with daytime temperatures that rarely rise above 30 degrees and nighttime lows that drop below 0 degrees almost every night. Spring and fall are your best bets for experiencing a bloomin' beautiful flower garden too!
The semi-arid climate is found from southern California up through Nevada and into Utah.