Flagstaff is a bike rider’s paradise with over 117 miles of dedicated bike lanes and stunning mountain vistas to admire while pedaling along Campbell Mesa or challenging Lake Mary Road.
Flagstaff’s risk of rain varies significantly throughout the year, with August 22rd through November 4rth being its driest period.
Winter Weather Advisory
Flagstaff stands out from other parts of Arizona by experiencing four distinct seasons and much cooler average temperatures due to its higher elevation. Usually 20-30 degrees cooler than Phoenix, Flagstaff makes for an ideal visit or resident if they love four distinct seasons and snow; snowfall begins around November and continues up into June on the San Francisco Peaks.
Winter Weather Advisories are issued when a significant winter storm is anticipated or occurring, in order to notify the public of conditions which could disrupt travel and utility services. Furthermore, wind chill advisories can be issued when life-threatening low air temperature reduces body heat production which could result in serious injury or even death if prolonged exposure occurs.
Warnings for Blizzard conditions occur when sustained winds of 35mph or greater are combined with falling and blowing snow reducing visibility to less than 1/4 mile or frequent drifting snow cover that has significant impacts in an area. Furthermore, the National Weather Service issues an advisory when stable snow is expected to drift across roads and pathways reducing visibility significantly.
Winter Storm Watches are issued 12 to 36 hours before a potential winter storm hits, by local National Weather Service offices who know best what conditions exist in their areas and will issue Watches, Warnings or Advisories according to their criteria.
Winter Storm Warning
Winter Storm Warnings issued by local NWS forecast offices warn the public about impending severe winter conditions that are anticipated in their area, typically heavy snow or ice accumulations that pose potentially life-threatening hazards such as power outages and travel disruptions.
Heavy snowfall is usually enough to trigger a winter storm warning; however, the National Weather Service also considers other factors when making its decision on issuing one. These could include factors like:
Blizzard warnings are issued when conditions pose the potential threat of widespread blowing snow and visibility of less than 1/4 mile for more than three hours, along with winds at 35 mph or greater and frequent lightning strikes that render travel hazardous or impossible and could result in chain-reaction accidents.
Wind Chill Advisories are issued when life-threatening wind chill temperatures are expected, which could result in frostbite or hypothermia without appropriate precautions being taken. They often accompany Winter Storm Watches; therefore it is vitally important that precautions are taken in order to safeguard oneself against cold conditions.
Winter Weather Advisories are issued when significant precipitation is predicted and could potentially disrupt travel, mass transit or utilities services. They pose less of a threat than warnings; it is recommended to closely follow local forecasts and comply with any instructions issued by local officials.
As Arizona weather becomes more wintry, several highways in northern Arizona have been closed by ADOT officials due to wintry mix. Officials strongly encourage people to avoid traveling unless absolutely necessary and state that road closures will always come first when considering safety for both travelers and vehicles on Arizona roadways. “Safety should always come first – and closing roads before crashes or semi-trucks come into play is the ideal solution,” stated Arizona Department of Transportation spokesperson Max Gorden.
Arizona Department of Transportation’s 511 Traveler Information Service can be accessed by dialing 3 digits or downloading the free Michelin app onto your smartphone. With this app, you can gain information on road closures, traffic conditions and weather trends as well as request rides or view live traffic cameras in the area you’re travelling through.
Before driving in Flagstaff, take a moment to research current road conditions and the weather forecast of your destination. For instance, if heading towards Page, get directions as well as get an idea of its climate conditions before setting out on your journey.
ViaMichelin routes to and from Flagstaff take traffic conditions into account, so your journey is as hassle-free as possible. Simple pictograms show whether your route is affected by traffic jams, accidents or road closures; additionally you can choose to factor traffic into trip planning as all our routes reflect this feature.
Each month can see significant variations in snow accumulation; during heavy-snowfall years like 2015 (which saw over 27 inches of new snow fall during December), light years may only see nine or less inches. January and February typically experience lower than nine inch accumulation. Flagstaff usually experiences its first snowfall of the season in October/November while it ends around April.
On average, it snows in Flagstaff approximately seven days each year, and more than half of these days include heavy snowstorms that drop ten or more inches of accumulation. Major blizzards with accumulations exceeding 10 inches also occur six or more times annually.
These winter storms have provided significant drought relief and should continue doing so until spring arrives and snowmelt occurs. Motorists should remain alert for changing conditions on Arizona highways to stay safe.
This page provides information on how much it typically snows each year in Flagstaff, as well as monthly and yearly counts of days that it typically does snow. Based on weather records from 1991-20 at Flagstaff Pulliam Airport.