Flagstaffers have become accustomed to snow as part of everyday life. While major snowstorms with 10″+ accumulation are rare, they do occasionally happen.
Flagstaff typically experiences 33.9 snowfall days each winter, although the exact amount varies year to year. We distinguish days that experience rain alone, snow alone, or mixed precipitation (rain plus snowfall).
Flagstaff is known as one of the nation’s snowiest cities, yet rarely receives record amounts of precipitation. Heavy snowstorms do however impact Flagstaff on an annual basis: starting with October and lasting through May.
As the snowfall in Flagstaff increases, mountain roads become hazardous for travelers and consequently schools, businesses, and organizations in Flagstaff close their doors as the conditions become hazardous for travel. It is expected to stop soon however and return to normal conditions.
Flagstaff is known for its hot summers and mild, dry winters. The annual average temperature in Flagstaff stands at 73degF; monthly averages range from 43degF in January to 89degF in August; its growing season spans from around May 20th until October 10th.
To define how pleasant the weather is during various seasons, we create two travel scores. A tourism score and beach/pool score. The tourism score emphasizes sunny, rainless days with perceived temperatures over 75degF; according to this score, Flagstaff is best visited from mid June through early July with peak scores during the first week of July.
Flagstaff stands at an elevation of over 7,000 feet, making it one of the snowiest cities in America. Snowfall typically begins in November and continues into early February; however, heavy snowfall can occur at any time during the year; peak snowy periods include mid-November, late December, and early to mid-February.
Flagstaff experiences an average temperature in November of 42.6 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees Celsius). On average, there are 1.1 snowfall days each month with an average depth of 1.34 inches (34.1 millimeters). Sunlight levels fluctuate throughout the year in Flagstaff: during April 25-July 11 when daily incident shortwave energy per square meter exceeded 7.6kWh while from November 3-February10 it dropped below 4.2kWh per day.
Flagstaff offers many reasons to visit, from skiing and snowboarding to hiking and exploring its historic downtown. In addition to its natural beauty, Flagstaff’s mild winter climate attracts outdoor enthusiasts. City equipment plows streets while clearing sidewalks from snowfall by hand; currently there are 700 lane miles, 8 alley miles, 131 bike lanes, over 27,000 driveways/FUTSs/driveways as well as 1,600 miles of sidewalk plowed every month! Moreover, Flagstaff maintains a snow operations policy outlining priorities and time frames for plowing operations by which city equipment.
Flagstaff is a winter wonderland, providing visitors with plenty of opportunities to have fun in the snow. Visitors will find snow tubing, skiing and snowboarding enjoyable pursuits; or just creating snowmen. As night temperatures can drop considerably below zero degrees Fahrenheit (-13C), layering up is highly advised before engaging in outdoor activities; it would be prudent to bring warm pants, winter jacket and gloves.
Flagstaff typically experiences its first snowfall of the season in December; however, snow can sometimes fall as early as October or November. Heavy snowfall usually falls during January and February with up to 10 inches accumulating by February; storms with heavy snow often follow shortly afterwards with major blizzards happening every now and then.
Winter weather conditions can lead to delays and closures in communities, including school closures and states of emergency in some parts of Arizona. Travelers planning trips in this region should closely follow local forecasts for updates before departing; National Weather Service Flagstaff has released a list of closures and advisories that pertain to northern Arizona.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for northern Arizona through Thursday. This storm will bring heavy snowfall and high winds, with multiple inches expected by Thursday’s end – this warning covers an area stretching from the Coconino Mountains to San Francisco Peaks.
Flagstaff offers cool temperatures and four distinct seasons that make for an inviting living or visiting environment. Thanks to its elevation of 6,910 ft (2,106 m), Flagstaff always remains considerably cooler than Phoenix at any given time of day, while winter months bring heavy snowfall paired with intense sunshine that makes this city especially captivating.
Flagstaff typically experiences its first snowfall of the season around November, although this can occur anytime from October to December. One in three years experiences light snowfall in October; typically some additional light accumulation occurs around April as well; although 25 percent of years don’t see any at all!
Monday and Tuesday saw intense postfrontal snow showers move across northern Arizona, producing multiple inches of new accumulation across several locations and prompting school closures in Blue Ridge, Flagstaff, Williams and Prescott Unified school districts as well as mountain campus classes at Northern Arizona University. Roadways were also closed as snow removal efforts continued.
Flagstaff had received 61.4 inches of snow as of January 17th, making this month the fourth snowiest month ever seen there. Additional 1.5 inches will place Flagstaff into third place while further 5.5 could bring them into second.