The Science Behind Spectacular Sonoran Desert Sunsets
We’re blessed with a clean, dry climate
Residents of Dove Mountain and throughout southern Arizona enjoy a clean and dry climate which happens to be one of the main ingredients for glorious sunsets. The reason is that light scatters less here allowing more vibrant color spectrums to appear.
Some say pollution contributes to redder sunsets. It’s true that some of the most dramatic sunsets happen following a forest fire or volcanic eruption. But as is in the case of man-made pollutants, sunsets may be more difficult to see, appear washed out and have less color contrast.
Hooray for wispy clouds
Another reason our sunsets are magnificent is due to our mid-to-high wispy clouds. They are the perfect canvas for a sunset and actually filter and reflect the colors of the setting sun against a dark sky.
Sunlight simply has a difficult time passing rays through puffy clouds on the horizon or lower rain-filled clouds. Our resident photographers will tell you that the most camera-worthy sunsets occur when there’s a cloud cover of between 30 to 70 percent at sunset.
But wait, there’s more
Even our mountain ranges reflect the colors of the setting sun in glowing shades of purple, pink, gold and more. Roughly 10 to 15 minutes after the sunset, our beautiful mountain ranges take on a vibrant glow.
What a wonderful way to end the day
We have very few completely cloudy days blocking our view of the sun, so we enjoy spectacular sunsets most of the year reminding us of the beauty and mystery of life itself.