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This climate type occurs primarily on the periphery of the true deserts in low-latitude semiarid steppe regions. It is transitional to the tropical wet-dry climate on the equatorward side and to the mediterranean climate on its poleward margin, with a cooler, wetter winter resulting from the higher latitude and mid-latitude frontal cyclone activity. Annual precipitation totals are greater than in tropical and subtropical desert climates. Yearly variations in amount are not as extreme as in the true deserts but are nevertheless large.
The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "BSk". (Tropical and Subtropical Steppe Climate).
The average temperature for the year in Safford is 65.9°F (18.8°C). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 85.4°F (29.7°C). The coolest month on average is December, with an average temperature of 46.4°F (8°C).
The highest recorded temperature in Safford is 116.0°F (46.7°C), which was recorded in June. The lowest recorded temperature in Safford is 7.0°F (-13.9°C), which was recorded in December.
The average amount of precipitation for the year in Safford is 11.3" (287 mm). The month with the most precipitation on average is August with 2.0" (50.8 mm) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is April with an average of 0.4" (10.2 mm). In terms of liquid precipitation, there are an average of 22.6 days of rain, with the most rain occurring in July with 3.8 days of rain, and the least rain occurring in May with 0.3 days of rain.