Flagstaff sits atop an altitude of over one mile and therefore experiences much cooler temperatures than Phoenix, as well as more snowfall due to this.
Another winter storm is predicted to dump 12-18 inches of snow starting Thursday afternoon and continuing through Friday morning.
1. It snowed.
Northern Arizona experienced heavy snowfall Wednesday evening into Thursday morning, with Flagstaff and Prescott seeing up to two feet in some locations. Unfortunately, travel problems also developed across the state, including I-40 traffic jams due to vehicles becoming stuck behind stranded cars and trucks stranded between Kingman and Flagstaff. According to National Weather Service forecasts this winter storm caused travel issues across Arizona causing travel issues along I-40 corridor.
At its height, more than 12 highways were closed in northern Arizona due to severe storm conditions; since then, the list has gradually shrunk as weather patterns have stabilized and road closures have reduced significantly.
There are various factors that determine how much snow falls in any given day, including its rate and accumulation on the ground. The following chart gives an overview of these elements.
Flagstaff is located at the center of Northern Arizona and is known for its four distinct seasons and lower temperatures due to its higher elevation. If you love four seasons with cool mountain peaks and intense sunny days, Flagstaff makes for the ideal place for visiting or living!
Flagstaff residents can take advantage of snow play all winter long on San Francisco Peaks and at Arizona Nordic Village. Their website contains useful information regarding skiing and other snow activities as well as snow conditions in Flagstaff as well as maps to guide their pursuits.
2. It rained.
On Wednesday night’s winter storm in northern Arizona, residents were reminded just how devastating snowfall can be. Some areas saw two feet or more fall within 24 hours while the National Weather Service Bellemont Office broke into third place for annual accumulation total.
At its height, this storm closed 12 state highways; however, this list has since been reduced as more highways reopened over Friday morning. Slick conditions from snowfall have created havoc for travelers entering and leaving Flagstaff.
As of Thursday morning, parts of Interstate 17 northbound from Kingman to Flagstaff had been closed due to winter conditions, ADOT crews working tirelessly to help traffic move through but some drivers had become trapped behind their wheels for hours at a time.
Northern Arizonans should see clear and sunny skies this weekend, according to forecasts from Flagstaff office. Though windy conditions remain likely, relief from snowy conditions appears imminent.
3. It snowed again.
Northern Arizona mountain residents are experiencing an early winter delight as reported by the National Weather Service Flagstaff office, as areas near Munds Park and Kachina Village have seen snowfall totals as high as 24 inches; further, monthly average snowpack levels for both February and March have already been exceeded by this recent snowfall event.
Snow has rendered roads and highways hazardous. At its height during Wednesday’s snowstorm, over 12 highways were closed but this number has since decreased as the storm abates.
Flagstaff typically sees snowfall of more than six inches each day; however, large blizzards that bring 10+ inches in one day are rare.
These numbers don’t take into account days when the city typically sees only light snowfall – for instance, December averages over 10 inches with only a handful of days receiving 20+ inches or more snow.
Flagstaff City Government is doing everything it can to keep up with the snowfall, as there are over 700 lane miles, 8 alley miles, 270 sidewalk miles, 42 bike lanes miles and 27,000 driveways to clear in Flagstaff alone. Equipment makes multiple passes in order to fully clear each street – this laborious process usually takes several weeks until completion; the city has adopted its Snow Operations Policy which details plowing priorities and desired time frames.
4. It rained again.
As snow continues to fall, residents are advised to be extra careful on the roads. According to KTVK, crews have been hard at work clearing roads in Flagstaff and across northern Arizona with 200 ADOT plows currently active across the state – and more snow is predicted for today as it continues to fall throughout Coconino, Yavapai and Flagstaff counties remain under a Winter Weather Advisory.
At lower elevations, several inches of fresh powder is expected, with accumulations up to a foot near Flagstaff. The snowfall is forecast to last into Thursday morning. Schools within Flagstaff city limits as well as surrounding communities have closed; numerous businesses and government offices also remain closed as a result of this weather event.
Flagstaff typically experiences an annual snowfall total of 113 inches. There are usually two days every year where over 10 inches are fallen at once – normally occurring during January and February months.
Flagstaff experiences winds from the south and southwest on most days, averaging 15.2 miles per hour (23.8 kilometers per hour). April typically experiences the strongest gusts while August usually remains tranquil.
Flagstaff experiences significant variations in humidity throughout the year. At its height in December and at its lowest in June.