With this Phoenix guide for May, you’ll know what kind of weather to expect, what to wear, and what to do in and near the city. This article was written by a local who lived in Phoenix for more than 10 years.
May is a good time to visit Phoenix, as it brings pleasant weather in the mornings and evenings. While temperatures have not reached their summer peak, it’s hot during the afternoon, which can be surprising for those not accustomed to it. It’s still a great time for various outdoor activities.
For our complete Arizona season guide with tips for each month, check out the article Best Time to Visit Arizona, with tips for every month and every region in Arizona.
In May, the weather in Phoenix, Arizona, is pleasant. There is little rainfall, though you can expect the days to be cloudy through most of the month. Averages high temperatures range from 90°F to 99°F.
During this month, the daylight hours increase as a sign of the longer summer days. It is also quite windy, with an average wind speed of 7.4 (0.1 less than the windiest day of the year).
Phoenix temperatures in May, have an average high of 94°F. The highest temperatures are in the afternoons, with the mornings having an average low temperature of 67°F. On average, the daily high-temperature increases 9°F per day in May.
Average Temperature Throughout the Day
In the mornings, the average high temperature is about 70°F. By noon, the temperature has risen to around 84°F, with the hottest temperatures presenting around 4 pm each day. The evenings are cooler as the temperatures shift back to around 84°F.
The afternoons provide a peek into the other hotter months, as you’ll find it feels almost like walking into an oven between the hours of 3 pm and 6 pm each day. It’s best to take a nap inside the air conditioning or spend time by the pool during these hours.
Average Monthly Rainfall
As mentioned, the weather data shows May to have a minimal possibility of rainy days. The average rainfall is 0.1″ throughout the month. The average humidity remains at 0% throughout the month, coinciding with the lack of rain.
Most of the days in May have some form of cloud coverage. However, May is one of the clearer months in Phoenix.
May 31 offers the most sunlight and least cloud coverage throughout the month. While the cloud cover does help with the heat slightly, it will still feel quite hot during the afternoons.
May average high:
- Early May: 90°F (32°C)
- Mid-May: 94°F (34°C)
- Late May: 99°F (37°C)
Typical daily temperature progression on a day in May:
- 8 am: 78°F
- 12 pm: 92°F
- 4 pm: 97°F
- 9 pm: 86°F
What to Wear / Packing List
During May, it’s best to bring clothes that allow you to stay cool, like shorts and short-sleeved tops. Most people in Phoenix prefer to dress for comfort instead of fashion, so casual clothing is appropriate for most activities. For those traveling for business or planning romantic dinners, you will want to pack a few nicer outfits.
Mornings and evenings offer cooler temperatures. Though, you’ll still want to wear shorts, comfortable shoes, and short sleeves or tank tops. If you’re leaving early in the morning for an activity, before 6 am, you may want to bring a light long-sleeved t-shirt or jacket as the average high is around 65°F.
Evening activities like exploring restaurants in Phoenix or nightlife will require nicer outfits. Consider bringing a short sleeve dress or short sleeve button-up with khaki shorts.
Daytime outfits will be similar to morning and evening. Bring shorts and t-shirts or tank tops for this time of day. As it’s too hot to do most activities, you’ll likely be lounging near a pool. Make sure to bring a swimsuit and sandals to wear.
It’s also very important to drink enough water. Bring multiple water bottles with you each day to drink during activities.
Basic Packing List
- Shorts or khaki shorts (depending on activity)
- Comfortable shoes (sneakers or hiking boots)
- Light jacket (early morning activities)
- Tank tops/t-shirts
- Convertible cargo pants (for hiking/outdoor activities)
- Dressier outfits (fancy dining establishments/nightlife)
- Water bottle or water pack (this is necessary for any outdoor activities)
How Busy Is It?
Crowds are minimal during May in Phoenix as the temperatures rise. This is when you’ll find some of the best hotel and flight pricing. The trade-off is the heat in the afternoons.
May is the best time to find excellent hotel packages that you won’t find in the winter/peak season. Head to Phoenix in May for low crowds and accommodation deals.
Things to Do
Many of the activities available in Phoenix revolve around the outdoors, especially in May, as the summer temperatures have not hit their highest yet. Here are a few activities to check out while visiting.
Phoenix: Guided Self-Drive ATV/UTV Tour
- When: Year-round
- Where: Arizona Outdoor Fun Property (no address listed, but directions available on the website)
- Price: $97 per person
Let your adventurous spirit out by exploring the Sonoran Desert via ATV or UTV. This is a fun activity that individuals or groups can attend.
You’ll be off-roading through canyons, rivers, and desert landscapes for a unique way of exploring Phoenix.
Find more information on this activity here: Phoenix: Guided Self-Drive ATV/UTV Tour.
Phoenix: Hot Air Balloon Flight
- When: Year-round
- Where: 715 E Covey Lane #100, Phoenix, AZ 85024
- Price: $189 per person
Take a hot air balloon flight over Phoenix and the desert landscapes for stunning views. This is an excellent way to escape the heat, as the hot air balloon is up in the air early enough to catch the sunrise.
Champagne is provided once the hot air balloon lands as a celebration. Guests will also help set up the balloon before traveling for a unique experience.
Find more information on this activity here: Phoenix: Hot Air Balloon Flight.
Phoenix: Haunted Downtown Walking Tour
- When: Year-round
- Where: Hotel San Carlos, 202 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004
- Price: $23.17 per person
Take a fun haunted tour of the downtown Phoenix area. This activity allows visitors to learn about a different section of Phoenix history from a guide.
Ghost stories and spooky events will be recounted as travelers explore the area around Hotel San Carlos and other famous locations.
Find more information and purchase tickets for this activity here: Phoenix Haunted Downtown Walking Tour.
Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival
- When: May 1, 2022
- Where: 200 W Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85003
- Price: $10 per person
Every year, Phoenix holds the largest Cinco de Mayo Festival in the state. Visitors can find folkloric dance, live music, wrestling, food, and drink at this festival. It’s an excellent way to mingle with the locals.
Desert Botanical Garden Flashlight Tours
- When: May -September
- Where: 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008
- Price: $24.95 per adult
Starting in May, the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix offers evening tours with flashlights. This is an excellent activity for those of all ages. Explore the desert landscapes at night and see which critters pop up.
Spring Restaurant Week
- When: May 2- 29
- Where: All over Arizona
- Price: $33-$55 per person depending on the number of meals chosen
Taste the best that Arizona has to offer with this statewide restaurant week! You can enjoy food from various restaurants in the Phoenix area and surrounding towns. A prix-fixe menu allows visitors to taste an excellent meal at a bargain price.