National Weather Service employees in Flagstaff don’t need any convincing that 2023 will be an unprecedented winter: snow levels at Flagstaff Pulliam Airport have already eclipsed monthly averages for both February and March – with March still having one day remaining to finish out its month!
Advice for driving in heavy snow conditions: slow down and use your hazard lights – your life depends on it!
Arizona may not conjure images of snowy winters, but parts of its state with higher elevations can see snowfall nearly every year – the largest city that consistently gets plenty of it being Flagstaff.
Flagstaff is currently experiencing its third snowiest month ever recorded in history, forcing some highways to close due to snowy conditions. Luckily, weather predictions point towards improving soon – providing northern Arizonans with relief from cold and snowy conditions.
Winter storm warnings continue to bring snowfall totals that exceed monthly averages across northern Arizona. Some regions have even reached or even passed their threshold for monthly accumulation of snowfall.
Coconino and Yavapai counties have experienced heavy snowfall, reaching two feet in some locations.
The National Weather Service office in Flagstaff recently reported that 2022-23 is currently the fifth snowiest season on record for Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, recording 140.1 inches since July 1, second only to 153.9 inches recorded from 1948-49 in this period.
Due to this heavy snow event, streams, creeks and rivers across the region are rising quickly – an encouraging sign as it will help prevent forest fires until monsoon season kicks in later this summer.
Flagstaff rarely sees significant snowfall during March. But on 4.2 days every year it does happen; typically up to 10 inches fall within one day on Mogollon Rim and other high elevation areas.
Flagstaff experiences some form of precipitation (rain, snow or sleet) an average of 83 days annually based on total rain/snow/sleet days rather than actual depth of snowfall on the ground.
Flagstaff Pulliam Airport’s weather data provides numerous tables and charts that show when and how much snow the city typically receives, as well as providing monthly and yearly counts of days when heavy snowstorms with deep accumulation occur.
Flagstaff has become famous for experiencing winter storms that bring hefty accumulations of snowfall each winter, and last week was no different.
Flagstaff typically experiences an average daily rainfall rate of 5-6% with 0.35 inches of precipitation falling on an average day.
City life offers four seasons and high elevations that many may find enticing, yet its thin air can present challenges to older residents who require respiratory equipment and an abundance of ventilation. June is particularly windy.
Flagstaff is home to tall Ponderosa Pine trees, making it possible for it to snow even during the hottest parts of summer – not uncommonly covering all Four Peaks with snow during July alone!
This winter has been one of the snowiest on record in Bellemont. Since July 1, National Weather Service’s Bellemont office has measured 146.7 inches; that total comes close to matching up with 1948-49 as one of their seasonal records.
The tables below present monthly and yearly averages for Flagstaff of rainfall alone, snow alone or mixed rain and snow days.
Flagstaff offers a diverse ecosystem, from pine-juniper covered plateaus and high desert terrain, to green alpine forest areas. To stay safe during their stay, visitors are advised to wear layers when spending time outside as the sun’s rays can be intense at this high elevation, making fatigue and shortness of breath likely outcomes.
Flagstaff has experienced record-setting winter storms this year, leading it well beyond its annual snowfall average and anticipated reaching the highest total since records began being kept in 1948.
Flagstaff sits 7,000 feet, giving it four distinct seasons and cool temperatures throughout the year. Due to its unique climate, snowfall from late November until early June can be seen on San Francisco Peaks, making for a comfortable living experience all year-round.
Flagstaff experienced its greatest annual snowfall ever during 1972-73 – reaching an estimated total of 210 inches! This amount far outshone any other major Arizona city at that time.
Flagstaff receives rain or other forms of precipitation 83 times each year on average, with autumn being the wettest season and summer being the driest. Humidity ranges between 24% in June to 66% in January.
Northern Arizona saw their inaugural snowfall of the season this week. 12News reported a dusting of snow fell on mountain peaks surrounding Flagstaff.
Solid line represents cumulative degree days (solid line) accumulated during October with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.
Flagstaff typically experiences 11 hours and 17 minutes of daylight each day in October, starting with sunrise at 6:21 AM on October 1 and concluding at sunset of 5:33 PM on October 31. Daylight saving time does not apply in 2023 in Flagstaff.
Flagstaff lies at an elevation of 7000 feet, boasting ecosystems ranging from pinon-juniper studded plateaus to lush alpine forests. Due to its sun exposure at this altitude, visitors should drink plenty of water, rest often and wear protective hats and sunglasses when visiting this region.
City equipment plows 700 miles of city streets, 8 miles of alleys and 27,000 driveways annually using our Snow Operations Map as a guide. View this document to discover routes and timelines.