Flagstaff residents have been delighted to experience some spectacular snowfall recently at Arizona Ski Bowl, creating the ideal conditions to hit the mountain and ride their favorite ski lift. Locals cannot wait to make use of these incredible conditions at Flagstaff Ski Bowl!
But just how much precipitation does Flagstaff receive each winter? This article will address that and other related topics; including rainfall and snowfall totals as well as how many wet days there are annually.
1. January – February
Wednesday saw a significant winter storm dump large amounts of snow across Arizona, creating hazardous travel conditions across the state. So severe was this storm that it closed stretches of interstate highways, with some communities reporting over one foot of accumulation in one day alone.
2022-2023 is shaping up to be one of the snowiest meteorological winters on record in Flagstaff. According to calculations by the National Weather Service in Flagstaff, it already ranks fifth-snowiest since record keeping began back in 1898.
Flagstaff typically experiences snowfall for 10 days during January and February on average, and it isn’t unusual for major blizzards to bring down 10 inches or more in these two months.
Flagstaff’s snowy climate is what gives it its identity as one of the snowiest cities in the U.S. It also draws people back year after year for both visits and residence.
2. March – April
Flagstaff stands at an elevation of 7,000 feet, providing access to various ecosystems ranging from pinon-juniper studded plateaus, high desert environments and green alpine forest. Due to the sun being more intense at such high altitudes, it is wise to drink plenty of water when outdoors and stay hydrated; additionally, wearing protective gear like sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen may be wise.
Humidity measures how much moisture there is in the air. Its level is determined by dew point temperature – where water starts evaporating off your skin to cool your body down – with chances of muggy days remaining around 0% throughout March in Flagstaff.
Flagstaff typically experiences an average of 81 sunny days each year. Due to its higher elevation, however, snowy conditions are common from September through April resulting in slippery roads and reduced visibility on highways.
3. May – June
Flagstaff experiences seasonal variation in snowfall. This page provides monthly and yearly counts of days when it snowed in Flagstaff as well as its total accumulation over that timeframe.
Flagstaff experiences wind speeds and directions which vary throughout the year, usually favoring south-eastern winds.
Flagstaff experiences very low relative humidity levels in June at around 24% and has an average temperature of 69degF during this month.
Flagstaff experiences significant variation in its solar day length throughout the year. This graph represents this variation over a 12-month period with December 20th marking the shortest day and July 21nd being longest. Data for this graph comes from weather observations using the MERRA-2 global climate model with solid lines representing daily averages while dashed ones show 25th – 75th percentile bands as indicated by percentile bands from 10th – 90th percentile.
4. July – August
Flagstaff’s summer weather offers ideal conditions for hiking, biking, camping and fishing. Temperatures during the day range from the low 60s to high 80s before dropping significantly at night; therefore layered clothing is highly recommended.
At an altitude of 7,000 feet, sunlight can become particularly intense. To protect yourself and stay safe in this environment, drink lots of water, use sunscreen when outdoors, and cover any exposed skin with clothing or sunscreen. Also be wary of altitude fatigue or shortness of breath during any vigorous activities that you partake in.
The number of days with rain varies throughout the year. On average, it rains for approximately 8.5 months of each year with most days occurring between June and August; however, the city also experiences dry periods during Spring, May, and September.
5. September – October
Flagstaff typically experiences its only snowfall each year between September and October; accumulation typically totals 1 inch during these months.
It is customary for northern Arizona to experience its first snowfall around November; this year however, Flagstaff saw the first dusting early last month.
Flagstaff sees average daily temperatures that vary between 68 and 43 degrees Fahrenheit during fall; humidity rates average approximately 45%.
Flagstaff’s growing season typically lasts 4.1 months from May 10 to October 1, measured in terms of growing degree days (GDD). GDD serves as a measure of heat accumulation that helps predict plant and animal development. Flagstaff typically experiences its strongest winds during January and February with hourly average speeds over 7.3 miles per hour.
6. November – December
November is another month that experiences decreased daily temperatures, but that doesn’t guarantee snow. Flagstaff averages snowfall on an average of 6.1 days during this month – some storms have even seen depths up to two inches!
Flagstaff typically experiences its highest snowfall during the winter months; however, snow can fall year-round. Flagstaff is an ideal place for ski enthusiasts in the US; its world-famous Arizona Snowbowl boasts a season that runs from mid-November through mid-April.
Phoenix, AZ may be known as “the Valley of the Sun”, but due to its lower altitude and warmer climate, Flagstaff provides much better opportunities for winter sports enthusiasts. Flagstaff boasts colder temperatures with regular snowfall which make it perfect for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.