Flagstaff, known for its high snowfall levels and abundance of storms that drop 10″ or more daily, can often experience large snowfall events during its winters.
This year’s snowy season is shaping up to rival that of Flagstaff Pulliam Airport from 1948-49, but this near record level of snowfall has only proven beneficial.
Heavy snowfall across north Arizona has made travel treacherous, leading to the closure of 12 highways at one point during its height; although some areas have since seen improvements.
Snowy conditions have brought delight to local ski resorts, but not so much for drivers. Over 300 crashes were reported statewide due to these hazardous road conditions; and according to National Weather Service forecasts some locations may experience up to one foot of accumulation in some regions.
Flagstaff’s 2022-23 season has already made history by surpassing previous record snowfall accumulation totals from 2009-10 by 146.7 inches at Pulliam Airport, crushing previous records set during July-March period of 2009-10 by 115.4.
This record amount of snow makes the Grand Canyon’s North Rim season 2nd-best on record, just behind 1972-73’s record year of 210 inches! On average, 90 inches is typically received each season by this rim.
This snowfall won’t completely reverse a decade-long drought, but it will help replenish runoff in spring and summer months, helping replenish water runoff levels. Furthermore, it will keep Mogollon Rim and other high elevation terrain covered with snow that reduces wildfire risk until later in the year – generally January/February are when heavy snowfall events usually hit this region.
Flagstaff’s recent snowfall is nothing short of stunning. An epic snowstorm that dumped tons upon tons upon northern Arizona transformed portions of it into winter wonderlands, even helping relieve drought conditions in certain regions. Yet while this wintry weather was surely welcome sight, many drivers found themselves stuck in traffic jams on Interstate-40 as a result.
Flagstaff was hit hard by snowfall this season, leading to cancellations at Northern Arizona University and school districts as well as high winds that resulted in closures or cancellations of many city-run services.
Flagstaff received 61.4 inches of snowfall during January alone, far surpassing last year’s total and making this one of the snowiest years since records began in 1898.
Snowfall and depth should be treated separately; snowfall refers to how much new snow has fallen while depth reflects how deep existing snow is piled up – typically anywhere from several inches in light snowfall years up to several feet or deeper accumulation.
No matter your winter sports tastes or simply comfort from hot chocolate by the fireside, this season has been nothing short of phenomenal in northern Arizona. Snow has blanketed much of Arizona over the last week or so and has even resulted in the closure of highways; but relief may soon arrive with dry and cool weather forecast through Friday.
Arizona may not immediately come to mind as being snow-prone; however, some parts of the state – particularly at higher elevations – do experience snow quite regularly. Flagstaff stands out as being Arizona’s snowiest big city annually receiving 101.7 inches on average annually.
Winter snowfall envelops the city from early December through late February, typically lasting 33.9 days and reaching depths of up to 107.9 inches.
Flagstaff holds the daily snowfall record at 78 consecutive days since January 2019, which was established back in 1979. Their most recent streak ended on Sunday, March 2, setting another milestone in terms of recorded snowfall history in Flagstaff.
Flagstaff’s climate can be divided into two seasons: cold (November to March) and hot (June to September). Snowfall occurs on average six times annually during cold season; major blizzards dropping 10″+ of snow have also occurred occasionally in past winters.
Flagstaff experiences its lowest average daily high temperature during January at 49degreeF; on the other hand, July sees temperatures rise above 81degreeF on an average daily high temperature basis.
Flagstaff experiences seasonal climate variations that tend to be less extreme than other places at similar elevation. This is likely due to its mountain location which helps restrict air movement and keep temperatures more steady.
Flagstaff experiences two distinct seasons: wet (with an estimated 22% chance of rainfall on any given day) and windier (5.11 months on average), with hourly wind speeds often exceeding 7.4 miles per hour on the lee (downwind) side of San Francisco Peaks creating areas of extremely gusty winds while other parts of Flagstaff remain more tranquil.