Flagstaff lies nestled into a snow-pocket at the foothills of San Francisco Peaks and boasts four distinct seasons that offer plenty of winter activities.
This page offers information on when, how much and how often it snows in Flagstaff as well as monthly and yearly averages.
Flagstaff’s climate is defined by its high altitude, which ensures temperatures remain cooler than in lower elevation desert cities such as Phoenix. Surrounded by tall pine forests, residents enjoy numerous outdoor activities year-round.
Flagstaff experiences its warmest period during summer when temperatures reach over 80 degrees Fahrenheit and conditions become dry and sunny. This period offers ideal hiking and outdoor recreational activity conditions, although winds often increase at this time of year.
Heavy snowfall reeks havoc across Chicago every winter, making it one of the snowiest cities in America. An average winter will see several days with accumulations exceeding 10 inches; major blizzards that bring 1-foot or deeper accumulations may visit.
Flagstaff residents love being outdoors and there is always something exciting happening here. Situated near Grand Canyon National Park, Oak Creek Canyon and Arizona Snowbowl makes Flagstaff an attractive tourist destination, while college sports fans flock to it due to Northern Arizona University being located here. Tourism and outdoor recreation play a central role in Flagstaff’s economy with lumbering and ranching industries providing additional support. Flagstaff was designated an International Dark-Sky City to preserve its spectacular night skies as much as possible.
Flagstaff schools were smart to close today as it’s snowing heavily there! A winter storm rolled across northern Arizona Wednesday night and dumped up to 24 inches in some locations, according to the National Weather Service in Flagstaff. They predict this may be their highest snowfall of the season so far!
Flagstaff typically experiences around 118 days of snow each year, with six to ten-inch snowfalls each winter and major blizzards with 10+ inches falling at least twice in that same winter. According to the National Weather Service, this may be one of the snowiest winters ever recorded at Flagstaff Pulliam Airport; perhaps second only to 1948-1949’s record-setting year when they recorded 153.9 inches!
Due to deep snowfall, some roads have been blocked off and this is causing delays for travelers. Blue Ridge Unified School District as well as mountain campus classes at NAU have both announced school closures due to these circumstances.
Flagstaff is enjoying a breathtaking snowfall that has created a picturesque winter scene, making for the ideal setting to go sledding or build snowmen with children. Just remember to play safe by leaving trails for others to follow and always respecting local laws before venturing off trail; otherwise fines could apply.
Flagstaff offers an entirely unique weather pattern compared to Phoenix due to its higher elevation and four distinct seasons, and can experience extremely windy winter and spring conditions, leading to high forest fire risk until monsoon rains arrive each summer.
Wind plays an enormous role in mountainous regions when it comes to snowpack conditions. Wind blows snow from one side of a mountain to the other, piling it up into huge drifts; leeward slopes may remain completely buried until spring or even summer comes along; furthermore, winds can blow new snow off mountains into lower elevations where it will accumulate as hard layers called cornices that remain unconsolidated until further accumulation takes place.
Last week’s wind agitation had surprising impacts on mountain snowpack. According to the National Weather Service in Bellemont, 140.1 inches had accumulated at Flagstaff Pulliam Airport since July 1, second only to 1948-49’s record 153.9-inch total accumulation for that period.
Flagstaff residents are no strangers to winter weather, with 2022-23 on track to become one of the snowiest years ever recorded at Bellemont National Weather Service Office – they have already recorded 140.1 inches since July 1 – second only to 1948-49 which saw 153.9 inches recorded between July and March!
Flagstaff experiences variable annual snowfall totals; on heavy years it may reach over 27 inches while light years may only receive less than 9.3 inches. February snowfall varies similarly with heavy years reaching more than 25.4 inches but still remaining below 9 inches on some occasions.
On average, the first snowfall of each season typically falls in October or November and continues through April (though earlier or later in some years).
The following table provides monthly and yearly data regarding how often and how much snowfall typically falls in Flagstaff. It also features snowfall information from Flagstaff Pulliam Airport as well as historical records for this region.
The City’s rain and snowfall data is collected remotely using automated sensors and posted automatically onto this website, without review or correction by human editors. Its purpose is to give residents real-time views of precipitation levels, temperature, air quality and other meteorological conditions in real time.