When you think about Phoenix, you may envision a dry, desert landscape. However, the “Valley of the Sun” is actually a diverse and vibrant city. We will give you an idea of what to expect by sharing this preview of the climate, animals, and people in Phoenix.
With a population of over 1.5 million and growing, Phoenix is the sixth most populous city in the country. According to the 2010 United States Census, the last census taken, about two-thirds of the city’s population self-identifies as white, nearly seven percent of residents are African-American, one in thirty Phoenicians are Asian, and more than 40 percent of Phoenix’s residents are Hispanic. These numbers add up to more than 100 percent because people can be in multiple categories.
The population is just about split evenly between men and women, and more than eight percent of residents are 65 years of age or older.
With the pleasant winters and variety of entertainment alternatives, Phoenix is a popular place for people of all nationalities to settle. More than one out of five Phoenicians were born outside of this country. Also, nearly 37 percent of residents speak a language other than English at home. Internet cartographers have mapped the ethnic communities in Phoenix.
Phoenix is in a hot desert climate. This means the winters are short and mild with average lows in the mid-40s. The summers are long, hot, and dry. The average highs in June, July, and August are over 100 degrees. Phoenix is the hottest major city in the US. July is the only month with more than an inch of precipitation.
The monsoon season in Phoenix is from June 15 to September 30. The monsoon raises humidity levels and causes heavy localized precipitation as well as the occasional large hail, strong winds, and flooding and rare dust storms and tornados. In some years, the dust storms have reached the level of a haboob.
The Arizona Emergency Information Network has compiled a number of ways to prepare for monsoon seasons. There are special precautions you must take while driving, including pulling over during dust storms and what to do if you are stuck in a wash. You should also build a basic emergency kit that includes a supply of non-perishable food and water, flashlights, a First Aid kit, and more.
At first glance, Phoenix’s landscape may appear to be a barren desert wasteland, but there is plenty of wildlife. Mammal species found around the Phoenix area are mule deer, jackrabbit, mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, bat, ground squirrel, desert cottontail rabbit, jaguar, and javelina species.
There are many bird species, such as eagles, vultures, hawks, falcons, roadrunners, woodpeckers, quail, doves, and more. Native plant species include mesquite, blue and foothill palo verde, palm trees, cholla and prickly pear cacti, ocotillo, creosote bush, ironwood, agaves, organ pipe, and more.
Phoenix is home to a number of venomous species including spiders, scorpions, and snakes. Fortunately, Phoenix’s hospitals are ready to treat bites. If you come across any of these creatures, leave them alone. If they bite you, seek emergency help immediately.
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