Since Saturday, snowplow operators have been hard at work in response to an unprecedented storm that shut down Northern Arizona University and caused traffic issues throughout the area.
The National Weather Service reports Flagstaff has seen its fourth highest January snowfall on record; however, an additional 1.5 inches are still necessary in order to tie or even surpass 1949’s record total of 9 inches of accumulation.
SRP meteorologists believe the snowfall to be good news for underground aquifers and their reservoirs.
Flagstaff stands out as an outstanding winter destination in Arizona, boasting stunning pine & mountain scenery – it sits within one of the country’s largest ponderosa pine forests and contains one of the state’s highest mountain peaks), abundant winter recreational activities, and up to 100 inches of snow every season! Experienced this magnificent region encased by fresh snow is truly unforgettable and will remain with you long after seeing this region covered with such beauty again in its glory!
Temperatures during January tend to be relatively comfortable. Daytime highs hover near freezing while nighttime lows often drop below it. Since it rarely gets above freezing here, you should wear appropriate winter gear such as thick socks and a warm hat to stay comfortable in this climate.
Flagstaff experiences one of the snowiest months each year during November. An average of 7.9 inches falls each day on average throughout this month.
Flagstaff typically sees most of its snow accumulation during January and February, though snowstorms may occur at other points throughout winter as well. When these storms hit, snow may stay on the ground for up to ten or more days at a time – although it’s rare for it to build up over 20 inches overnight!
Flagstaff experiences moderate rainfall levels during January, leading to wet conditions. An average of 50mm falls each month making January the fifth wettest month. On the upside, though, it typically only rains for around 5 days during this month allowing you to still take advantage of sunny weather during your trip.
Flagstaff experiences short but heavy showers throughout the year. If you plan on doing any outdoor excursions or hikes during your visit, bring waterproof clothing and suitable footwear as the sun can be more intense at higher altitudes and cause skin damage. Also bring along sunscreen as its rays can have lasting consequences that are hard on skin cells.
Flagstaff has already experienced its fourth snowiest winter on record this year. Estevan from Flagstaff Towing and Recovery has been working non-stop during this period to assist residents out of snow-clogged driveways, filling SRP reservoirs with freshwater from local aquafers. Furthermore, this snowfall should help alleviate California’s drought which has persisted since 1996 and replenish Arizona aquifers that supply Phoenix and the surrounding area with drinking water.
Flagstaff snowfall can be extremely intense. A major storm that swept over northern Arizona last week brought with it 2 feet of snow – the 25th largest snow event ever. NAU had to cancel classes Monday-Wednesday as a result and non-essential city offices closed as a result of such extreme precipitation.
Flagstaff typically experiences heavy snowfall throughout its winter season, from early December to late February. On average, Flagstaff sees 33.9 days a year where snow covers the city on average for at least one hour and usually accumulates to an accumulation depth of 103.6 inches. Storms that drop ten or more inches typically happen only six times on average each winter season.
La Nina weather patterns over the desert Southwest have laid the groundwork for significant snowstorms this winter. Impulses have passed through, dropping heavy amounts of snow while also producing substantial amounts of precipitation.
At Flagstaff during winter months, it is wise to come prepared. Make sure that you bring a heavy jacket, warm gloves, thick socks, boots with high ankle support, as well as a hat and scarf as it may become cold quickly. Cold weather gear can be purchased at various outdoor shops such as Aspen Sports, Peace Surplus or Babbitt Backcountry Outfitters in town.
Flagstaff experiences winds with an average average speed of 12.7 mph (20.4 kph). Although it doesn’t feel as cold, you may require a hat and gloves to stay warm; winds usually come from the north.
Skiing, snowboarding, hiking and other outdoor activities are great ways to spend your free time during this period in Arizona. Snowstorms or other severe weather events may interfere with travel plans in localized areas; therefore it is wise to check weather reports prior to making plans for trips such as Grand Canyon visits.
Visit Flagstaff during winter can be especially rewarding, particularly if you want to experience its many natural treasures. Temperatures tend to be much lower compared to summer visits and it allows you to avoid many of the crowds seen at tourist spots during this period.
Planning a winter vacation requires having an alternate plan in case the weather doesn’t cooperate as expected. For instance, if sledding wasn’t on your itinerary but instead you opt for something else such as hiking, try packing extra warm clothing along with snacks and water supplies just in case sledding doesn’t materialise as planned.