Flagstaff, one of the snowiest cities in the US, experiences its winter season from early December through late February with snow typically piling up for 33.9 days during this time frame.
The near-record snow load from 2022-2023 should help alleviate drought conditions on Mogollon Rim and surrounding high altitude terrain, yet does not guarantee wetter weather conditions in 2024.
Flagstaff, Arizona is well known for having four distinct seasons and much cooler temperatures than its Arizona neighbor Phoenix, making it a popular tourist and local getaway from the desert heat.
Winter is Flagstaff’s peak snowy season, yet snowfall can occur year-round. While major blizzards typically produce 10 inches or more annually, on an average winter day an inch or more falls every eleven days.
National Weather Service data indicate that Flagstaff’s 2022-23 meteorological winter is currently one of its snowiest ever seen here; 48-49 and 2009-10 being two other notable instances.
As winter sets in, it is vital to bring warm clothing and a jacket when venturing outdoors in Flagstaff. Additionally, wearing a hat and sunscreen are great ideas as the UV index often falls at its lowest during this season, reducing risk of sunburn considerably.
Wednesday saw an enormous winter storm sweep across Northern Arizona, dropping massive amounts of snow in Flagstaff and creating epic powder conditions at nearby ski resorts. Additionally, this massive snowfall helped alleviate drought conditions while providing much-needed economic stimulation in Northern Arizona.
According to the National Weather Service, Flagstaff Pulliam Airport has already seen more than 61.4 inches of snow this month – placing them second on a list of airports that saw over 60 inches during January in history! This record amount almost doubles that of last year!
Snowfall in some major streets has caused traffic issues and travel delays; however, locals are pleased to witness such an early start to winter in a region with limited snowfall potential.
Equipment makes multiple passes per day to clear snow from 700 lane miles, 8 alleys miles, 131 bike lanes miles, 42 sidewalk miles and 27,000 driveways across the city – often leading to delays due to snow falling quickly at higher altitudes causing rapid dehydration.
Flagstaff, Arizona’s Winter Wonderland is nestled at an elevation of over 7,000 feet, providing thrill-seeking downhill skiers and snowboarders a diverse terrain, from beginner to expert levels – plus breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon!
Flagstaff sees its fair share of snowfall year-round, but much of the year’s total accumulation occurs during February. On average, six out of every twelve days see accumulation. Ten-inch snowstorms tend to hit once or twice every year.
Over the last week, several winter storms have hit northern Arizona, leaving more than 30 inches of new snow across Yavapai and Coconino counties – SRP has reported it is now the largest mid-January snowpack since 2010.
Snowfall in February and March is great news for those in need of water, since when it melts it will efficiently generate runoff that will replenish reservoirs. There are currently 700 lane miles, 8 alley miles, 131 bike lanes, 270 miles of sidewalk and 27,000 driveways within the city limits; equipment needs to make multiple passes in order to plow all these roadways effectively.
Flagstaff typically experiences snowfall for an average of 6.7 days in March, totalling an estimated average of 4.3 inches of accumulation; however, the actual total could be much greater.
Winter snowfall can help replenish cities’ aquifers, while it’s less helpful for roadways which become treacherous due to slushy, wet snow and black ice accumulations.
Arizona highways were closed Wednesday night following heavy snowfall and windy conditions, creating major delays across the state and leaving many motorists stuck in traffic jams. Luckily, however, weather forecasters predict an improvement for northern Arizonans over the weekend and Monday – welcoming snow-free conditions as an advantage to both locals and tourists.
Flagstaff may not be used to the snow, yet its presence can create havoc for residents in Arizona’s northern mountainous regions. Snowfall has rendered many streets impassable and forced school districts to close. This winter has seen record snowfall accumulation in Flagstaff.
The Arizona Snowbowl, situated seven miles outside Flagstaff in Coconino National Forest, is one of the premier locations for skiing and snowboarding. Offering 37 kilometers of slopes that cater to various skill levels, as well as the Flagstaff Nordic Centre which specializes in cross country skiing – are some of the many benefits this ski resort provides.
Flagstaff boasts 700 lane miles, 8 alley miles, 131 bike lanes and 27,000 driveways – in addition to roads. Each year city equipment makes thousands of trips across these lanes to plow them all; their top priority being keeping these roads open – which the city addresses with policies addressing plow crew priorities and optimal times for plowing – followed by secondary routes like side streets and cul-de-sacs being plowing regularly.