Sand, sun, and cacti, oh my! We must be in the desert. Wait!!! Not all deserts are sand and sun, and cacti. There are hot deserts, temperate deserts, and even cold deserts. But they all have one thing in common - they are arid. Arid means that the desert is dry and does not receive much precipitation such as rain or snow during the year. Do you have precipitation throughout the year like we do? Spring and winter rains and winter snow and sleet are common here in Missouri where we live. We have lots of plants growing almost everywhere we look, but in the desert, plants are usually more sparse and spread out.