Flagstaff typically experiences an annual average snowfall total of 113″.
This winter has been one of the snowiest on record, which is beneficial for several reasons, such as filling in any shortfall in runoff and prolonging ski season.
This page compiles data and descriptions about when, how much, and how often it snows in Flagstaff. Additionally, monthly and yearly averages are also provided here.
Flagstaff averages an annual snowfall totaling approximately one foot each month during winter season, with heavy amounts falling most commonly between December and January. Initial accumulation can begin as early as October or continue into December.
Heavy snowfall can disrupt traffic and travel conditions, while contributing to flash flooding that caused significant damage to homes and other structures, washed away roads and bridges, and led to residents having to be evacuated from their homes or businesses.
Arizona snowfall also plays a critical role in prolonging wildfire season, delaying its start and decreasing fuel loads in summertime when they melt off. While this is generally good news, heavy snow loads may also pose flooding risks in low-lying areas.
Northern Arizona weather forecasters are optimistic, as cold and snowy conditions should finally abate on Friday, giving people relief from snow-laden conditions and perhaps providing flood relief in Yavapai County. According to the National Weather Service Flagstaff office, breezy to windy conditions are expected on Saturday and Sunday – though no guarantee that snow won’t still fall from the sky!
Flagstaff stands out among Arizona ski destinations as it currently features 150% more snowpack than usual for this time of year, making it one of the premier spots for skiing. In fact, during its peak hours multiple highways had to close as heavy snowfall overwhelmed infrastructure.
At last, it looks as if the weather will take an upturn this weekend, giving relief from wintry conditions to high country residents. According to weather service forecasts, an end to snowy conditions should bring dry and pleasant temperatures across northern Arizona.
Flagstaff, Arizona lies within the Coconino National Forest and offers breathtaking snow-covered beauty in northern Arizona. Flagstaff is known for its four distinct seasons and cooler temperatures than Phoenix by around 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit; also notable are its bright sunny days and an annual snowfall average of more than 100 inches.
Interested in experiencing Flagstaff’s winter wonderland? Start at Arizona Snowbowl; the mountain offers skiing, snowboarding and other winter-time fun for visitors of all ages from November through April. Or check out Flagstaff Nordic Center which boasts 40 kilometers of groomed trails suitable for beginners, located downtown along Milton Road north of U.S. 180 – or take your pick among these options – depending on what sport or activity interests you!
Accurate snowfall predictions require anticipating the path of the storm accurately while taking into account other factors like temperature highs and wind speeds close to the ground – hence why forecasts can often miss by large margins.
Flagstaff is no stranger to winter storms, with an elevation of around 7,000 feet above sea level and an annual average snowfall of 96 inches per season, more during El Nino years than drought years. But this winter has been something different.
According to the National Weather Service Flagstaff office, this year has been one of the snowiest years on record, second only to 1972-73’s record amount of accumulation.
Heavy snowfall has drawn many to the area, resulting in traffic issues as a result. According to KSAZ reports, motorists were trapped in a traffic jam near Kingman for hours due to snowy conditions on Interstate 40.
Snowfall has also helped replenish Arizona’s water supplies. According to the Kyl Center for Water Policy, Arizona reservoirs are currently 77% full compared to 65% at the beginning of March. This represents an improvement from their levels at 65% during February.
Flagstaff has experienced record snowfall this month. On one day alone last week, more snow than Chicago receives in an entire year was received and outpaced New York City’s annual average by over 10 inches! This accumulation occurred as a result of an slow moving winter storm.
January has become the third-snowiest month ever recorded by the National Weather Service (NWS), still trailing behind 1980 and far short of overtaking first place 1949.
Normal January snowfall patterns see higher elevations receiving over three feet of accumulation. But this year has seen much less concentrated accumulation at higher elevations and greater amounts falling at lower ones.
Flagstaff Airport recorded 140.1 inches of snowfall between July and March – second only to 1948-1949’s record 153.9-inch accumulation – making for the second-highest total on record.
Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff has experienced exceptionally heavy snowfall this winter, leading to an exceptionally deep base and providing great skiing conditions. Furthermore, this abundance of moisture has also helped alleviate drought conditions across northern Arizona – so much so that its governor lifted drought status for this region on Friday.