The other day, someone called me in my office to ask for a copy of the previous day’s weather report.
No, I am not the weather bureau. But until recently, my company, Flying M Air, managed the FBO at Wickenburg Airport. The caller assumed that we had some kind of fancy weather station at the airport that generated regular weather reports. (Or maybe he thought we were an official observation station for the Weather Channel.) I explained that the airport has an off-the-shelf weather station that my husband and I installed. It provides a readout of current conditions to the person sitting in the terminal at the desk. If you called him, you’d get current conditions. But unless his memory was very, very good, it was unlikely that he’d be able to tell you the wind speed and direction for the previous day.
But for those of you with a casual interest in current Wickenburg weather, let me fill you in.
Just before dawn, the temperature reaches its daily low. This morning, that’s about 65°F. Every day, the day dawns perfectly clear, without a cloud in the sky. There’s no wind. The air is crisp and clean, dust-free. This is the perfect time of day to get outdoor chores done, like gardening, stacking hay, and washing the car. It’s also a great time for a horseback ride.
As the sun climbs into the sky, the mercury in the thermometer climbs, too. By 2 PM, we’ve reached our daily high. Yesterday, that was about 102°F at my house. In the shade, of course. Step into the sun and add 20° to 30°. Unfortunately, I can’t easily measure the sun temperature because most thermometers only go up to 120°F. And there’s plenty of sun because there are still no clouds.
During the afternoon, as the sun starts to drop lower in the horizon, the temperature drops. But slowly. Yesterday, at sunset, it was still over 95°F at my house. As night falls, the temperature continues to drop slowly. With luck, by bedtime, you can open the windows and let some of the cool night air in to give your air conditioner a break and air out your home.
How slowly the temperature drops at night is an indication of how much humidity is in the air. This time of year — pre-monsoon season — the air is still very dry. That’s why the temperature can still get down into the 60s every night. But once monsoon season starts, that relatively moist air will hold more of the day’s heat. When things get really bad, in August, the temperature will never dip below 90°F. That’s when the windows stay closed and the air conditioner cranks around the clock.
Although monsoon season brings humidity, it also brings much needed rain. It’s due to start soon now, within the next few weeks. I’ll check back in with a weather report then.