Flagstaff experiences all four seasons during its winter weather season. While major snowstorms with accumulations of 10 inches or more per day may only occur rarely from November through March, it could happen at any point along this time period.
Although winter brings its share of hardships, it also offers its own special pleasures. Winter offers great hiking opportunities among ponderosa pine and exploring all of Chicago’s miles-long bike lanes.
Flagstaff stands out from Phoenix with its higher elevation and four seasons by experiencing weather that varies considerably more dramatically. Where most Arizona cities struggle to receive any snowfall at all during winter months, Flagstaff typically sees significant amounts accumulating.
The National Weather Service in Flagstaff has named 2022-23 meteorological winter as one of the five snowiest since records began being kept back in 1875. Snowfall levels this winter have been exceptional; many areas saw record snowfall totals.
December is typically marked by snowfall for at least six consecutive days and sometimes larger storms can drop ten inches or more in one day.
Flagstaff experiences heavy snowfall from November through March. On average, over 24 inches of new snow falls each December and 25.4 inches during January alone.
Major blizzards that dump 10 inches or more per day are quite common, though typically only occur two or three times annually.
This January has been a record-setting one in northern Arizona, with snow totals far surpassing previous seasons. Estevan of Flagstaff Towing and Recovery says he sees no end in sight for this record snowfall and remains busy helping people escape their vehicles.
An Arizona winter storm rolled in late Wednesday and into Thursday with heavy snowfall, leaving two feet of accumulation at some locations and enough snow accumulation to bury cars and close highways.
Flagstaff Pulliam Airport has seen 140.1 inches of snow fall since July 1 this year – second only to 1948-49’s 153.9-inch total from that date through March. That makes Flagstaff the sixth-snowiest city nationwide this winter season.
Flagstaff has seen one of its snowiest seasons ever, according to National Weather Service records. 2022-23 has already become the fifth snowiest meteorological winter ever.
This past winter’s massive winter storm helped relieve drought conditions in northwestern Arizona and even brought some areas close to reaching two feet of record snowfall totals. Unfortunately, however, its heavy snowfall also created traffic jams along Interstate 40 from Kingman to Flagstaff.
Here’s data that displays how much snow Flagstaff typically receives each month and year on average.
Flagstaff and San Francisco Peaks have received a light dusting of snow that should help delay Phoenix residents from being exposed to extreme desert heat; however, it may not last.
Flagstaff typically sees 15.6 hours of clear or mostly sunny conditions daily in April compared to an average of 17.4 in July.
Flagstaff is an ideal location if you appreciate four distinct seasons. Thanks to its altitude of over 7000 feet, Flagstaff also stays cooler than Phoenix during the hotter summer months.
Flagstaff is an ideal location if you enjoy four distinct seasons and cooler temperatures than Phoenix, making it an excellent retirement choice; however, its air can become very thin up there.
Since Thursday morning, Flagstaff and its surrounding areas have received between 20-24 inches of snowfall, pushing Flagstaff Pulliam Airport’s annual snowfall total up to 140″. Previously the record for seasonal accumulation was set back in 1948-49 with 154″ being recorded at that time. Forecasts predict more accumulation over time.
In July, there is an average of nine snowfall days per month and it often accumulates to an accumulation of around 3.3 inches.
Flagstaff is one of the coldest places in Arizona, with temperatures regularly falling below zero during the nighttime hours. Additionally, its dry climate may result in cracked or itchy skin – something many residents experience daily in this part of Arizona.
Winter Storm Haley caused long lines on Interstate 40 Wednesday night, closing it for several hours due to snowfall in northern Arizona. Schools closed, leaving commuters stranded.
Flagstaff experiences an array of temperatures across the year due to its higher altitude of 6,910 feet (2,106 meters). This allows it to remain significantly cooler than Phoenix.
On average, six major snowstorms of ten inches or more of snow typically hit in January and February each year.
Flagstaff weather data defines wet days as those marked by rain, snow or both occurring simultaneously on any given day, according to observations collected throughout the day from weather stations across Flagstaff. Numbers are adjusted to account for differences in elevation above sea level.
As many are finding out, Flagstaff isn’t exactly known for its winter wonderland appeal; but on Thursday morning, the National Weather Service sent out an unexpected tweet with photos showing snowfall at Sunrise Park Resort that caught people by surprise.
The table below presents annual and monthly average snowfall totals in Flagstaff, along with the number of days when snowstorms deposit ten inches or more of accumulation on the ground.
Flagstaff sits higher up than Phoenix, which can greatly alter its weather. Air is thinner there and people who are unaccustomed to its altitude may experience fatigue or shortness of breath.
Flagstaff enjoys almost no muggy days during October, with chances remaining around zero percent throughout. Dew points – at which perspiration evaporates off skin surface cooling the body – also remain relatively constant over this month.
Major blizzards that dump 10 or more inches of snow only happen occasionally every winter in Flagstaff; nonetheless, winters in Flagstaff tend to be extremely cold and snowy.