All of Flagstaff’s precipitation drains to the Colorado River. Although not an enormous volume of water, it provides much-needed relief in such an arid climate as Flagstaff.
Chances of wet days (rain or snow) vary widely throughout the year, with rain being most prevalent for 8.4 months out of 12, and mixed precipitation coming more frequently 2.6 times out of 12.
Flagstaff is currently enjoying one of its highest mid-January snowpacks ever seen since SRP released their report, according to which there is enough snow cover for efficient runoff and reservoir filling along the Verde River.
Flagstaff typically has no snow cover by May, yet can still feel quite cool.
The growing season typically lasts 4.1 months from May 30 to October 1, with its peak days falling around May 10 or 17. To track plant development accurately, growers often track Growing Degree Days (GDD). This measure of heat accumulation measures how fast plants will grow over time.
GDD count is determined by adding up each day’s degree-minutes exceeding 50. Sunny days with temperatures between 75 and 86 Fahrenheit typically receive high scores on this metric. The City maintains over 700 lane miles of streets, 8 alleys, 42 miles of bike lanes, 27,000 driveways and 131 miles of sidewalk – each year this process usually takes seven hours per lane mile!
February in Flagstaff typically features cloudy conditions; however, their duration varies considerably across the year and month to month; during February alone, between 9%-21% of sky coverage can be expected to be clear or partly cloudy at any given time.
Flagstaff averages an average daily length in February of 10 hours and 56 minutes, which is shorter than Arizona’s overall daily average of 12 hours and 29 minutes.
Flagstaff is a ski town situated in the northwestern corner of Arizona. Due to its higher altitude, Flagstaff often stays 20-30 degrees cooler than Phoenix throughout the year and experiences plenty of snowfall for creating exceptional skiing conditions.
Flagstaff looks set for a relatively snowy winter in 2023. This will likely come as welcome news to local residents since snowmelt recharges aquifers that supply drinking water sources such as the Colorado River and Grand Canyon rafting flows, which tend to increase during wetter periods. At present, only 14% of western US states are drought free.
Recent weeks saw an unprecedented winter storm sweep through northern Arizona, providing record amounts of moisture. A mix of rain and snow helped increase existing snowpack in higher elevations while many rivers, lakes, and streams all reached their peaks; most heavy precipitation fell on March 20-22.
Flagstaff is known as one of the snowiest cities in America and is surrounded by mountains that reach above 7,000 feet in elevation. On average, Flagstaff receives 33.9 days of snowfall annually. Snowfall typically begins around October and lasts up until May.
Flagstaff boasts 700 lane miles of street, 131 bike lanes, 42 miles of sidewalk and 27,000 driveways, all managed through its snow removal program to maintain safety for its citizens and emergency services vehicles. An automated system plows roads using salt trucks dedicated to clearing snow off roadways; emergency vehicles use this service at times when roadways need clearing of snow for safe travel and other motorists alike. In addition, there is also a dedicated salt truck available in Flagstaff to remove ice or salt the roads for emergency situations that arise.
Flagstaff experiences snowstorms dumping 10 inches or more six times annually. Additionally, snow accumulates for well over half of each winter season with most snowfall occurring between January and February.
Flagstaff experiences its coldest month of the year during April with average daily temperatures ranging from highs of 67degF to lows of 37degF on average and winds speeds averaging 15.2mph (24.5kph).
Though it might seem paradoxical, recent snowfall in Flagstaff coincides with increased flows on the Colorado River – this water will help replenish aquifers in this arid climate and recharge our groundwater supply.
Flagstaff water flows south towards the Verde and Salt rivers near Phoenix before finally joining up with Colorado in Yuma, where it’s sorely needed by Arizonans.
May is typically the month when Flagstaff experiences its last snowfall; during 4.8 precipitation days, an average of 0.75″ of rain usually accumulates.
Flagstaff typically experiences its first snowfall as early as October; however, one out of every four years does not experience any fresh snowfall at all. There are 33.9 snowfall days each winter which typically add up to about 103.6 inches.
Flagstaff experiences cloudy conditions about 60% of the time throughout the year. November sees the most wet days with an average daily rainfall totaling 0.04 inches of liquid precipitation.
Flagstaff summers can be hot, but not desert-like conditions; high altitude allows cool mountain breezes to often blow. Bring along sunglasses and a hat, as well as layers such as long pants and short sleeved shirts; bring a sweater or fleece for cooler temps as well as sunhat and sunscreen protection against UV radiation; hiking shoes are essential and water bottles may come in handy too due to water regulation concerns during drought conditions.