Does it snow in Flagstaff, Arizona? The answer is YES.
Flagstaff, at 7,000 feet above sea level, is one of the snowiest areas in the United States, with an annual snowfall of more than 89 inches.
Flagstaff, Arizona is a city in Northern Arizona located between the San Francisco Mountains and the Sonoran Desert.
The city is 171.13 square kilometers in size and located at an elevation of 7,000 feet (2,100 meters).
Flagstaff is Arizona’s 16th most populated city, with a population of 77,590. Does it, however, snow in Flagstaff, Arizona?
Flagstaff has an arid and semi-arid climate with frigid winters and pleasant summers.
Throughout the winter, Flagstaff faces cold temperatures that never get beyond 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).
Given the frigid temperatures, it’s no wonder that snow falls frequently in Flagstaff during the winter.
In this article I’ll explore further on the factors leading to snow in Flagstaff Arizona and winter activities you can take part in if you’re a winter sports lover.
Let’s get started.
Does it Snow in Flagstaff, Arizona?
As previously mentioned, the answer to the question “does it snow in Flagstaff, Arizona” is YES.
Flagstaff’s four seasons are envied by many. It is located in the high-country highlands of northern Arizona.
Summer temperatures average in the mid-80s, with sapphire blue skies and crisp mountain air, and the richness continues into the fall, with a magnificent canvas of quaking aspen and foliage in reds and purples.
Winter activities abound in Arizona’s officially designated Winter Wonderland, which receives an average of 108″ of snow in downtown Phoenix, while spring brings magnificent splendor of blossoms in the world’s largest contiguous emerald green ponderosa pine forest.
Factors That Make Flagstaff Arizona Among the Snowiest Places in the US
Flagstaff, Arizona is well-known for having one of the snowiest cities in the country. This reputation is influenced by a number of factors.
Flagstaff sits at a high elevation of approximately 7,000 feet above sea level.
This means it is more vulnerable to cooler weather and snowfall than lower elevation communities.
Second, Flagstaff is close to the San Francisco Peaks, which are Arizona’s highest mountain range.
These mountains form a natural barrier, causing moist air from the Pacific Ocean to rise and cool, resulting in considerable snowfall during the winter.
Finally, Flagstaff encounters a weather phenomenon known as lake-effect snow.
When cold air flows over the Great Lakes, it gathers up moisture, which subsequently falls as snow when it reaches land.
While Flagstaff is not near any of the Great Lakes, it is near Lake Powell and Lake Mead, both of which can contribute to lake-effect snow.
How Much Snow Does Flagstaff, Arizona, Get?
Having answered the question “does Flagstaff get snow”, let us look at the quantities of snow experienced in this city.
Flagstaff averages 89 inches of snow every year, making it one of the snowiest cities in the country.
The yearly snowfall in Flagstaff fluctuates from year to year, but on average, Flagstaff receives about 89 inches of snow per year.
This is much greater than the national average of 28 inches and much greater than the Arizona state average of 12 inches.
Flagstaff received 166 inches of snow in the winter of 1971-1972, the city’s highest recorded snowfall.
When Does it Snow in Flagstaff, Arizona?
During the winter season, which lasts from early December until late February, Flagstaff receives heavy snowfall.
However, as one of the snowiest places in the country, Flagstaff records its first snowfall in October and the last in May.
Throughout the year, Flagstaff receives snow on 33.9 snowfall days, which typically accumulates to a depth of 89 inches.
Nevertheless, this figure might rise, as seen in the 1972-73 winter, when the city received 210 inches (5,334 mm).
October is an autumn month in Flagstaff, with moderately warm temperatures.
During the month, average daily temperatures vary from 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius) to 41.7 degrees Fahrenheit (5.4 degrees Celsius).
Despite the apparent warmth, Flagstaff experiences a snow accumulation of 1.34 inches (34 mm) after 0.8 snowfall days.
In Flagstaff, November is the last month of autumn.
The city’s daily temperatures have dropped as it prepares to transition into winter.
In November, the city’s average daily temperatures range from 53.1 degrees Fahrenheit (11.7 degrees Celsius) to 32.2 degrees Fahrenheit (0.1 degrees Celsius).
The amount of snowfall in the city has increased significantly as compared to October values.
Throughout the month, Flagstaff receives 2.5 inches of snow, and the snow cover can reach a depth of 2.6 inches (66 mm).
In Flagstaff, December marks the beginning of winter.
And, as predicted, daily average temperatures are lower than in November.
Temperatures in the city presently fluctuate from 42.6 degrees Fahrenheit (5.9 degrees Celsius) to 24.8 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius), making December one of the coldest months of the year.
December is also the snowiest month in the city, with a total snow accumulation of 7.36 inches (187 mm) and a record 7.4 snowfall days.
In Flagstaff, January is another harsh winter month, with temperatures frequently falling below freezing.
In January, daily average temperatures in the city range from 42.6 degrees Fahrenheit (5.9 degrees Celsius) to 25.2 degrees Fahrenheit (-3.8 degrees Celsius).
Flagstaff receives snowfall for 6.1 days out of the month, with accumulations reaching 4.65 inches (118 mm).
Flagstaff’s winter season comes to an end in February.
However, the cold weather and snow will continue for another two months in the city.
The daily average temperature in February ranges from 45.5 degrees Fahrenheit (7.5 degrees Celsius) to 27.1 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.7 degrees Celsius).
Flagstaff gets 5.94 inches (151 mm) of snow in February after 6.2 snowfall days.
Ski Resorts in Flagstaff, Arizona
Having learnt that it does snow in Flagstaff Arizona and that it’s among the snowiest cities in the country, let’s now look at the ski resorts in this city.
Due to the amount of snow, it receives, many skiers and snowboarders would anticipate it to have developed skiing terrain.
And, in fact, Flagstaff’s ski resorts in the neighboring mountains do not disappoint.
Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort
The Arizona Snowbowl ski resort is around seven miles from Flagstaff.
It is located within the Coconino National Forest, at elevations ranging from 2,804 to 3,505 meters.
The yearly snowfall at Arizona Snowbowl is 260 inches (6,604 mm).
When natural snow cover is insufficient, it also includes a snowmaking machine that uses water pumped from Flagstaff to generate snow.
Six ski lifts serve the resort’s 37 kilometers of skiable slope, which caters to the needs of varied skiing skill levels.
Physical Address: 9300 N Snow Bowl Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, United States
Flagstaff Nordic Centre
The Flagstaff Nordic Centre is a cross-country skiing facility located 15 miles north of Flagstaff.
The center features almost 40 kilometers of sledding and cross-country skiing paths.
It has trails for people of all skill levels, from beginner to experienced.
The trails are constantly groomed, making them suitable for both traditional and skate skiing.
It provides lessons, equipment rentals, and guided tours in addition to skiing and snowshoeing.
Skiers can get tuition from professional instructors to help them improve their technique and make the most of their time on the trails.
For those who prefer to explore on foot, the rental shop has a large selection of skis, boots, and poles, as well as snowshoes.
As they explore the trails, visitors may expect to encounter a variety of species, including elk, deer, and coyotes.
Physical Address: 16848 US-180, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, United States
Final Thoughts on the Question: “Does it Snow in Flagstaff, Arizona?”
Does it snow in Flagstaff, Arizona? The answer as seen from above is YES.
Despite being in an arid and semi-arid climate, the city does experience snow during the winter months due to its high elevation.
The winter period runs from December to February with an average snowfall of 89 inches.
Lovers of winter activities have several ski resorts to explore and if you happen to be around during the winter period, do not miss checking them out.