Flagstaff is known for its gorgeous winter climate and attracts many snow enthusiasts who enjoy skiing, snowboarding and playing in the snow.
Flagstaff experiences wet days (rain and snow) throughout the year. Rain or mixed precipitation occurs most frequently between March 20 and December 2. After that period, dry conditions prevail for 9.6 months – during this timeframe it typically rains alone or mixed with snow alone for 8.4 months, including the peak month between November 5 and January 13.
Northern Arizona was hit with its inaugural snowfall of the season this week as an early wintry mix brought with it an early dusting. According to the National Weather Service, snow fell on mountain peaks around Flagstaff and other parts of northern Arizona ahead of when typical forecasts predicted. It offered a glimpse at what lies ahead this winter season.
Flagstaff, Arizona is known for receiving heavy snowfall from early December to late February; however, snow can fall as early as October or even as late as May! More days and accumulation of snow occur during winter than any other month.
Flagstaff boasts an average annual sunshine percentage of 88%, making it an excellent place for outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain climbing.
Flagstaff generally experiences a 9% chance of rain or snow on any given day in October, with an average precipitation amount of 0.39 in (9.9 mm). Furthermore, Flagstaff experiences only 45% relative humidity throughout October; making for more comfortable temperatures compared with summer’s low levels of relative humidity.
The National Weather Service Flagstaff team has been monitoring winter, and 2022-23 already promises to be one of the snowiest years since records began. At Flagstaff Pulliam Airport alone, snowfall accumulation is more than twice what is typically seen for December – approaching top-10 totals seen during March and April.
Temperatures have fallen substantially below their annual averages. The growing season usually lasts 4.1 months from May 30 to October 1, with July and August seeing the greatest chance for rain or liquid-equivalent precipitation (defined as at least 0.04 inches of rain or liquid equivalent precipitation).
November and December see much drier weather conditions, with only 10.9 days on average of wetness. This is likely attributed to earlier sunset times in December decreasing sunlight hours overall.
January and February see an earlier rise of the sun, increasing total daylight. But sunnier days remain less plentiful than during June and July when skies were clear and blue. At Flagstaff’s high altitude and proximity to Grand Canyon, some days still snow, even during Phoenix area drought conditions; although any accumulations usually melt quickly.
Flagstaff is one of Arizona’s premier tourist spots, boasting four distinct seasons and stunning weather all year long. Home to some amazing astronomical sites – especially its starry night skies that provide ideal conditions for viewing the night sky – Flagstaff has become known as one of Seven Wonders or Dark Sky City for good reason.
Flagstaff typically experiences winter snow from November through April. While amounts may differ year to year, on average they tend to exceed expectations with particularly heavy precipitation in January and February and major blizzards forming approximately six times each year.
Flagstaff usually experiences less snowfall in March than other months, though still enough snow falls to close several schools across northern Arizona – including NAU Mountain Campus.
Flagstaff is located within Coconino National Forest and boasts over 100,000 people, making up its population. The climate in Flagstaff is heavily impacted by mountain chains as well as Arizona Snowbowl ski resort, located only 7 miles away from its city limits. On average, temperatures hover around 60degF in summer while winter lows can drop as low as -4degF.
Flagstaff typically experiences its first significant snowfall of the season in December; however, January snowfalls haven’t been uncommon either. According to the National Weather Service, early snowfall in northern Arizona this year can be attributed to several winter storms sweeping through since last week; these storms are predicted to drop up to 10 inches of snow on parts of Yavapai County, southern Coconino County, and western Mogollon Rim areas at higher elevations.
Flagstaff does occasionally experience snow in April; however, this is less common than November or December. Flagstaff’s growing season lasts approximately 4.1 months beginning May 30 and ending October 1. On average there are 107 growing degree days (the measure used to predict plant development) per year here.
Flagstaff experiences its wet season from July 7 to September 10. On average, 10.9 days see some sort of precipitation; July is typically the wettest month with daily average rainfall exceeding 2.56 inches on 16.2 days.
Flagstaff has an average relative humidity of 66% during this period, with daily averages as low as 24% in June and 36% in August; January experiences the highest relative humidity with an average daily average of 89%.