FLAGSTAFF, AZ — It has been an unprecedented weather week across northern Arizona with possible tornado warnings and record breaking snowfall totals.
At its height, nearly 12 highways were closed due to wintery conditions; but that list has since diminished. So when does it snow in Flagstaff? Here is an outline.
Historically, the first snowfall of a season typically arrives between October and December, typically leaving an inch or more behind on its path to the ground. Although snowstorms with 10+ inches per day are rarer, they do happen.
Flagstaff’s high elevation and location in northern Arizona contributes to its snowy climate. Furthermore, mountainous terrain around it helps increase precipitation rates and contributes to orographic lifting effects. It experiences 2.1 months of wet season, with most rainfall falling between August and September; June remains dry.
Winter snowstorms can bring both joy and danger for people who enjoy playing in the snow. Unfortunately, they also present drivers with hazardous driving conditions – typically between November and March when skiers head for Arizona Snowbowl for some snow-based fun!
Snowfall totals vary substantially year to year. While the highest accumulations typically take place between October and May, with heavy falls typically occurring in December and January (the heaviest days are often in these two months), their total average accumulation being 33.9 inches per month.
Flagstaff is worth visiting any time of the year, but May to August is ideal as day temperatures remain comfortable while evenings remain cool.
Flagstaff’s National Weather Service office has recorded 146.7 inches from July to March this year – second only to 1948-49’s record snowfall of 153.9 inches! These snowfalls make the mountains in Flagstaff ideal for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.
Flagstaff experiences its highest rate of rainfall or snowfall during April. On average, Flagstaff sees either rain or snow 4.3 days out of each month.
Flagstaff experiences its growing season from May 30 to October 1, typically receiving between 12-18 inches of precipitation per month during this time.
Flagstaff is best visited during summer when temperatures are comfortable and cool; however, winter weather is also quite enjoyable here; January and February typically see the heaviest snowfall.
Flagstaff experiences heavy snowfall each winter due to its high elevation, making it one of the coldest and snowiest cities in Arizona.
Flagstaff typically experiences snowfall of at least 81 days each year and rain on an estimated 83. Precipitation in Flagstaff typically includes rain, snow, sleet, and hail.
The wettest season spans from July 7 to September 10, with over a 22% chance that any given day will bring wetness; June is usually the driest month.
Flagstaff has experienced an unusually snowy winter according to the National Weather Service; according to their records this has been one of the 5 snowiest in recorded history.
Flagstaff experiences some significant precipitation in June, though chances for rainy days remain relatively low. Visitors should always prepare for colder temperatures and snow by packing layers including heavy coat, gloves, waterproof jacket and pants and warm boots – in any case this advice applies throughout the year!
Flagstaff typically sees its first snowfall of the winter season on October 30, with an average annual accumulation of one and a half inches accumulating; during more intense years this figure may reach over eight inches!
Flagstaff is well known as one of Arizona’s snowiest cities due to its high elevation and cold temperatures, leading to snowfall ranging from light flurries to heavy storms that create wintry delights perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Heavy snowfall has even resulted in road closures and school closings during its wintery spells.
August is traditionally one of the wettest months, yet is still considered relatively dry for visiting Flagstaff. On average, only 10.9 days see rainfall while there are 27.2 sunny days to count!
These monthly and yearly counts of rainfall, snowfall, and growing degree days provide a comprehensive picture of Flagstaff’s climate. The chart below presents these counts in context – solid lines represent monthly averages while dashed lines show 25%-75% and 10%-10% percentile bands respectively.
Flagstaff stands at an elevation of over 7,000 feet and is widely considered one of the snowiest cities in the US, its climate being determined by several factors, such as its location in northern Arizona near mountainous terrain that enhances precipitation and leads to substantial snowfall.
Flagstaff’s winter season lasts for approximately 3.5 months and features cold temperatures and heavy snowfall, making it an attractive destination for winter sports enthusiasts from across the nation.
Summer weather tends to be bright and warm. In July and August however, due to monsoon rains, the number of sunny days begins to diminish significantly.
Flagstaff’s high elevation and cooler temperatures make it one of Arizona’s snowiest cities, as it experiences various types of weather events from light flurries to heavy snowstorms – creating the ideal conditions for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts to visit this winter wonderland!
Flagstaff experiences rainy days throughout the year, though autumn tends to bring the highest rainfall totals with 83.4 rainy days per year and an increasing likelihood of wet days due to its wet season lasting 2.1 months – wet days are defined as any day with any liquid-equivalent precipitation (either directly or indirectly).