: Two season climate, hot summers and very nice winters. The months of June, July, August and September tend to run near 110 degrees for highs, especially July and August. The monsoon season brings humidity which drives down the high temps, but makes things less comfortable. But by October things tend to cool down to less than 100 degrees for highs and the evenings are very pleasant. Winter is very nice with warm days and very little cold weather. By late March temperatures start to go back up and we generally hit 100 degrees some time in late April or early May. The summers are tollerable if you have AC in your car and don't have to work outside.
: The schools in Yuma struggle with the immigrant population and tend to score low on with the state requirements. There are several private schools that do better. Yuma also has two separate elementary school districts and a separate high school district. Crane district (elementary) has a better reputation, but that seems to be based more on self promotion than on fact. Some schools tend to be better than others though, so picking the neighborhood seems would be important. There is a 2 year community college, Arizona Western College, that is affordable and it is linked to Northern Arizona University to offer bachelor degrees in education and business.
Depends on where you live in respect to where you work. If you work at Yuma Proving Ground, the commute is 35 to 50 minutes and can be a little un-nerving. A commute in town may take 15 to 20 minutes, except during the winter months when it can take longer because of the conjestion caused by all the winter visitors.
There is a nice selection of chain resturants and fast food places. As for the local establishments, most people tend to have a favorite or two, it just depends on your tastes. There really aren't very many "exceptional" resturants here, but plenty of pretty good places. There are lots of Mexican food places, but once again it depends on your tastes.
We have three Wal-Marts and a Target, as well as Penneys, Sears
, Dillards, Ross, Kohls, Burlington Coat Factory, Sam's Club, Circuit City, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, PetsMart, Lane Bryant, shoe stores, smaller clothing chain stores, etc. There is a mall, but with the opening of the Regional Shopping Center, the mall has all but closed. For food shopping we have Wal-Mart, Frys, Food City, and several mercado's, no specialty or upscale food stores.
Generally pretty good, but when the wind blows hard, or the farmers are burning fields, then the air quality goes down. Little or no smog.
High unemployment during the summer. Wages are generally low. The area is growing and there is work to be had in construction, farming, service industries, medical, and government (Border Patrol and Customs, Proving Ground, Marine Base). But the cost of living is lower than many places and the service industries and medical fields can never find enough employees in the winter.
For a smaller town, there is more crime than would be expected, but most of the serious crime is related to gang activity fueled by the proximity of the Mexico border. There are parts of town to avoid living in, but most of town seems pretty safe. No place is immune from grafitti though, we just get rid of it as quickly as possible and than tends to discourage further tagging.
Probably some of the lowest in the state. Depending on the neighborhood, three bedroom homes are availble starting around $150K, but for the nicer neighborhoods, the prices start closer to $250K. The town is a bit mixed when it comes to homes and neighborhoods. There are often very nice homes in some of the less desireable neighborhoods and most neighborhoods will have homes that are not very well maintained. It seems to be popular to come from California to buy investment property here, so there are many homes owned by people who don't live in the area or even the state.
Most of the nicer neighborhoods tend to be outside of the core area of town, like down in the valley (off the mesa), out by the college, Mesa del Sol, or south of 32nd Street (out in the county). There are some nice neighborhoods in town, but you would need to explore the neighborhood to find the boundaries of the nice areas.
Mexico provides a very strong influence on Yuma, some is good like the food and diversity, some is not so good like the poverty. So Yuma struggles to offer cultural events, although the college and high schools provide some performances and there are some groups in town who do drama or dance performances. Most of the community activities are scheduled during the winter like the rodeo, parades, car shows, balloon fest, air show, and the county fair.
Yuma has two rivers and several lakes that are close enough to enjoy easily. There is camping, hiking, and boating, some can even be enjoyed year round if you are hearty enough. Another favorite diversion offered here is lots of fishing. If the heat is a problem, about 2 hours west into California is camping and hiking at higher elevations that can be very pleasant when it is hot in Yuma. 2.5 to 3 hours will put you in San Diego and all that it has to offer. East, Phoenix is about 3 hours away and Tucson is about 4.5 hours from Yuma. 30 minutes south is a major border crossing into Mexico, a gateway to the Gulf of Mexico and all of it's bordering towns. We never seem to have any trouble finding something to do.