Flagstaff offers four distinct seasons throughout the year and is often much cooler than Phoenix due to its higher elevation of 6,910 ft.
National Weather Service offices across Arizona have reported record snow totals this winter. Flagstaff Pulliam Airport’s accumulation is second only to that seen during July through March 1948-1949 when 153.9 inches fell between 1948-1949.
Flagstaff experiences mild temperatures in March. On average, daytime highs reach 89 degF while nighttime lows typically drop down to around 57 degF. Furthermore, the city receives approximately 6.3 inches of precipitation each month in this month alone.
Northern Arizona’s winter season has been nothing short of amazing, with snowfall levels exceeding record-setting levels across the region and at Flagstaff Pulliam Airport alone seeing 140.1 inches fall since July 1, making this winter season second only to 1948-49 in terms of snow accumulation.
Temperatures have remained mild despite heavy snowfall in the area, leading to deep and persistent snowpack. This bodes well for water supplies as the snow will help replenish aquifers and fill SRP reservoirs with much-needed reserves.
Flagstaff’s location above one mile above sea level means it experiences colder temperatures than Phoenix, contributing to its snowfall.
Are you curious as to why Flagstaff receives so much snow while Phoenix remains relatively warm? The answer lies within altitude – as Phoenix lies at a lower elevation, its climate tends to be milder by nature.
Northern Arizona is experiencing its wettest winter since 2002. According to Salt River Project, snow and rainfall amounts have reached record highs – welcome news for high country dwellers as this weather pattern helps recharge underground aquifers and fill reservoirs while simultaneously relieving drought conditions.
Flagstaff typically sees some rain in March, though it usually doesn’t cause major problems; indeed, some rain is necessary for successful growing seasons. But heavy downpours can create floods, mudslides and alter soil temperature significantly.
Flagstaff typically experiences an average maximum temperature for March of 54 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning temperatures range from hot during the daytime and cool in the evening – although these numbers do fluctuate year by year.
Another factor to keep in mind when planning outdoor activities is the dew point. This indicator measures humidity levels that determine how much sweat evaporates from skin pores. Lower dew points feel drier and warmer while higher dew points can make you sweatier and feel muggier – both indicators that the weather could change throughout the day.
Flagstaff offers plenty of winter entertainment opportunities, whether you are an experienced skier or snowboarder or simply enjoy having snowball fights. Its winter recreation snowplay map lists numerous snow activities available throughout Flagstaff; additionally, an information hotline offers daily updates as conditions shift throughout the season.
Flagstaff has seen one of its busiest winters ever this year. A recent winter storm dumped between 20-24 inches of snowfall on the region and has already caused travel issues and road closures; NAU Mountain Campus closed as well as impacting Interstate 40 traffic flow.
Although most winter snowfall in Flagstaff occurs between January and February, significant accumulation can still happen on occasion. While major blizzards dumping more than 10 inches are rare occurrences – only occurring about six times annually on average.
March typically sees temperatures around 9degC (49degF). Snowfall typically falls for four consecutive days with accumulation reaching an average depth of 0.44in (11.1mm). Snowfall tends to be light or moderate but in extreme cases can reach over 30cm. Cloud cover averages 35% throughout March.
Wind can have a dramatic impact on how much snow accumulates. When winds blow from the north or west, moisture is drawn in by these gusts causing snowfall accumulation to increase significantly; on the other hand, east/south winds tend to push it off the ground more effectively and decrease chances of accumulation.
On average, six days each winter have snow accumulation of three inches or greater; however, major blizzards dropping ten or more inches typically only happen one or two times annually.
Though the current storm will cause travel disruptions in northern Arizona, its effects have been beneficial to its snowpack. By Monday afternoon, San Francisco Peaks snowpack had grown to nearly 29 inches – more than 116% of what would normally be considered the median peak level for Arizona.
Snowfall from this storm will help ensure a tame fire season in Ohio. At present, the statewide snowpack stands at just over 19.5 inches – well above its usual 52.4 average at this time of year – which is encouraging news but there’s still room for improvement and the coming weeks will be crucial in terms of fire management in the state.