Yuma, Arizona is noted for its weather extremes. Of any populated place in the contiguous United States, Yuma is the driest, the sunniest, and the least humid, has the lowest frequency of precipitation, and has the highest number of days per year—175—with a daily maximum temperature of 90. Yuma features a hot desert climate, with extremely hot summers and warm winters. Atmospheric humidity is usually very low except during what are called Gulf Surges, ", when a maritime tropical air mass from the Gulf of California is drawn northward, usually in connection with the summer monsoon or wet period or the passage of a tropical storm to the south. The sun is said to shine during about 90% of the daylight hours, making Yuma one of the sunniest places in the world. The city receives the most recorded average sunshine of anywhere on Earth. The area's first settlers for thousands of years were Native American cultures and historic tribes. In 1540, Spanish colonial expeditions under visited the area and immediately recognized the natural crossing of the Colorado River as an ideal spot for a city. But it wasn’t until the 1860s that the city gradually grew. Slow growth were the watchwords until the advent of air conditioning because of its hot climate. On September 1, 1950 the temperature in Yuma reached 123 degrees – the highest temperature ever recorded in the United states in the month of September.
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