when is the first snow in flagstaff

Flagstaff sits 7,000 feet above sea level and is one of the snowiest cities in Arizona, typically receiving 11 snowfall days each year.

Flagstaff’s National Weather Service estimates this meteorological winter as being among the five snowiest since records began being kept in the late 1800s. Here in Flagstaff winter season runs from November through April.


The first snowfall typically arrives between October and March. But this date can change at any point along the way.

October is an eventful month that is celebrated for its vibrant fall hues and fun-filled celebrations – it even gets its name from ancient Celtic customs! Halloween falls within this month.

Flagstaff offers several ski resorts. Arizona Snowbowl can be found seven miles north of Flagstaff in Coconino National Forest and features state-of-the-art snowmaking technology with over 777 acres of skiable terrain; open from mid November until mid April.

Winter temperatures in the city tend to be moderate, with above-average snowfall heaviest during mid-November, December, and January. Additionally, monsoon season typically hits late July/early August; weather in the city varies greatly and forecasters advise checking local forecasts prior to heading out. As well as snowfall, winds can often become strong; making driving difficult during a snowstorm and potentially leading to road closures.


Even though winter doesn’t officially start until December, Flagstaff often sees the first snowfall of the season in November due to climate shifts that bring with them reduced temperatures and an increase in snowfall.

Even though November may not be as cold as other winter months, its temperatures can still feel chilly if you live at higher elevations in the city. Therefore, it is wise to prepare in advance by having sufficient clothing and supplies available.

Residents in the area should plan ahead and remain cognizant of road conditions in order to avoid unnecessary complications. Motorists should remember that heavy snowfall may cause traffic congestion on Interstate 40, making travel challenging and leading to long delays for airport traveler; thus it’s crucial for them to know when snowfall will happen so they can plan accordingly.


Christmas in Flagstaff is an eagerly-awaited event, filled with festivities, shopping opportunities and skiing fun!

In general, January and February see the highest snowfall totals. There may also be occasional days during November and December where snow flies, though usually not to any great degree. Snowstorms dumping five to ten inches daily occur six or more times annually with major blizzards producing 10+ inch accumulations once or twice every season.

Flagstaff relies heavily on its snow to sustain life. Snow protects Flagstaff’s iconic ponderosa forests, provides some water supply to residents and generates $40 million and hundreds of jobs for the city’s economy. Snowfall even features on its official city crest!

After considering all thirty years from 1981 to 2010, only 17% of Christmases saw significant snowfall, something many locals may find unsatisfying following last year’s severe drought conditions.


Flagstaff experiences an average of 3.2 snowfall days during January. On its snowiest years, Flagstaff can experience over 34.3 inches of new snowfall accumulating, while lighter years may only see 9.3 inches.

FLAGSTAFF, AZ – An intense winter storm has dumped snow across Northern Arizona and created dangerous driving conditions, which have resulted in several areas along SR-87 closing – such as Payson as well as Petrified Forest National Park and Montezuma Castle National Parks.

Garrett Widner, who had just moved to Flagstaff, was surprised at both its severity and timing. Garrett said it had surprised him how early and abundantly snow piled up during this stormy spell in Northern Arizona.

At this early point in the season, snow is not uncommon due to low pressure systems moving across Arizona. Flagstaff stands out among lower elevation areas like Phoenix as its high elevation makes the climate more severe; thus making it an excellent place for those who appreciate four distinct seasons to live and thrive.


Flagstaff is one of the snowiest cities in the United States and can see snowstorms as early as November until May. There is often at least one snowstorm each month from November through March.

Winter weather can be dangerous, leading to closed roadways and power outages in localized areas. Some parks such as Petrified Forest National Park and Montezuma Castle National Monument close due to heavy storms.

On Wednesday afternoon, a heavy snowstorm rolled in, bringing wind and precipitation. Rain, sleet, and snow caused considerable accumulation with higher snow-to-liquid ratios than normal accumulating across Payson-Winslow SR-87 corridor temporarily closing due to falling snowfall. A police vehicle became trapped under snow drifts resulting in its burial as SR-87 between Payson and Winslow was temporarily closed off from traffic flow.

People frequently wonder, “when will it snow in Flagstaff?” However, February only having 28 days instead of 31 has more to do with superstition than math – its shortness being explained by other calendar months around the world being named similarly, according to It’s Okay To Be Smart.