Green Valley, AZ
Living in the Desert
Green Valley’s weather is milder than in other desert areas such as Palm Springs and Phoenix due to its altitude. Our average high temperature for December through February is about 66 degrees and the average low is 37. However, most winters we do have a few nights with a frost or even a hard frost. So, don’t bring your parkas, but do bring a warmish jacket. June usually is our hottest month. July through September temperatures are bit lower since that is our monsoon season. We do get daytime temperatures above 100 for several days in the summer but our temperature is usually 1012 degrees cooler than in the Phoenix area.
Dark Skies at Night – Green Valley is part of the “dark skies zone” because of the many observatories nearby. We have few street lights and they must shed their light downwards. The outdoor lights on our homes are also down-lit. A strong pencil flashlight is handy if you go out in the evenings, even in a retail parking area.
Monsoon – The majority of our rain falls during our monsoon season. Most people who live here year round love the monsoons since they are a spectacular display of Nature’s might. It rains so hard that your visibility when driving is zero and the monsoon winds can be so strong that the rain is driven sideways. A dry wash can become a torrent of water in minutes.
IF YOU ARE DRIVING AND SEE A SIGN THAT SAYS “DO NOT ENTER IF WATER PRESENT”, OBEY IT SINCE A TRICKLE OF WATER CAN CHANGE INTO A THREE FOOT HIGH WALL OF WATER IN SECONDS.
Every year our swift water rescue teams have to rescue drivers who thought they could beat the monsoon’s might and, unfortunately, we usually have a fatality or two.
Personal Safety – Living in the desert presents unique personal safety issues. High SPF sunscreen and your personal water bottle should become your best friends, especially in the hotter months. People not used to living in the desert underestimate how fast you can dehydrate in our dry heat. You should learn about our critters—we have poisonous snakes, large centipedes that bite, scorpions and venomous spiders, including the “big boys” —tarantulas. We also have javalinas which, with their big tusks, look like wild boars but are not part of the swine family. Javalinas are vegetarians and may well invade your flower beds and plantings at night for a meal. If cornered or if they fear for their young ones, the large javalinas might attack so be wary of nighttime walks. Javalinas also see dogs as their enemy and will attack them. If you are out walking your dog in the early hours of the morning or after twilight, be careful and retreat immediately to your house with your dog if you see, hear or smell the presence of a javalina (they stink). Our scorpions are nocturnal so watch where you put your feet. Most homeowners here use commercial pest prevention companies or spray their homes themselves to keep our critters outside where they belong.
Pet Safety – Like you, your pets need to adapt to the Southern Arizona climate and critters. Your pets will need more water and should not be left outside during our hottest months without ready access to a covered sun shelter and fresh water. Very hot roads, sand and sidewalks can damage a dog’s paws. If this becomes a serious problem with your dog, see your vet for preventative tricks or treatment of heat damaged paws or invest in “doggie shoes” Most people here walk their dogs just after sunrise and after sunset in the summer months. You also get dog collars that can be filled with ice cold water to keep your pet from overheating. Of course, never leave your pet your car in the hotter months, even for a little while.
Rattlesnakes are common in the desert here and also wander into our neighborhoods. You may want your dog to undergo snake aversion training so your dog will recognize and avoid the snakes rather than try to grab them or kill them. We also have one critter that isn’t usually a problem with people but is with dogs and cats: the Colorado River Toad. This toad is the largest toad native to the USA they can get up to 7.5 inches long. The Colorado River Toads have white wart like patches at the corners of their mouths and along their legs that exude a toxin that can kill a full grown dog or cat if it licks the toad or picks it up. If this happens, your pet will need immediate emergency treatment. We have several excellent veterinarians in this area who are knowledgeable about the Colorado River Toad. You may want to ask your chosen vet about first aid you can start if your pet encounters a Colorado River Toad. For more tips about pet safety click here