Words and photograph by Daniel Wakefield Pasley.
WEATHER IN THE GRAND CANYON1 VARIES ACCORDING TO ELEVATION. The forested rim is high enough to receive winter snowfall, while along the Colorado River path of the inner gorge temperatures are similar to those found in Tucson and other low elevation Arizona desert locations. Conditions in the Grand Canyon region are generally dry with substantial precipitation occurring twice annually. These follow seasonal pattern shifts in winter (when Pacific storms usually deliver widespread, moderate rain and high-elevation snow to the region from the west) and in late summer (due to North American Monsoons), which deliver waves of moisture from the southeast, causing dramatic localized thunderstorms fueled by high daytime temperatures. Average annual precipitation on the South Rim is less than 16 inches (35 cm), with an average of 60 inches (132 cm) of snow.