The clarity of the high, dry air over the Painted Desert region is only occasionally interrupted by weather shifts and environmental factors. Wind plays a large role in shaping the terrain but does not often decrease visibility. With an annual rainfall of only 8-12 inches, moisture seldom interrupts the majestic vistas. Thunderstorms are most commmon during the monsoon seaason from July to September. Winters can bring cold temperatures and snow.
Summers by contrast are often hot and dry, punctuated by occasional thunderstorms While automobile traffic and the passage of trains on the Santa Fe line can be heard from the road, the backcountry is still a refuge of profound silence. This relative isolation has also helped to preserve the night skies and the air quality within the park.