Does it snow in Flagstaff?

Does it snow in Flagstaff? The short answer is a resounding yes! The cold winter and heavy snowfalls are an essential part of the cultural identity of the people of Flagstaff.

Flagstaff, also known as the City of Seven Wonders or the Dark Sky City, is one of the most popular cities in northern Arizona, as well as the county seat of Coconino County.

This city is particularly famous for being related to essential discoveries and missions related to astronomy, such as the discovery of Pluto (1930) and the NASA Apollo missions (1961 – 1972).

On the other hand, Flagstaff also enjoys a significant tourism sector, which is not surprising given its proximity to some of the most visited national parks and natural havens in the southwestern United States.

However, beyond this general information, one might wonder: Does it snow in Flagstaff? Well, Flagstaff receives considerable snowfalls during the winter with great regularity. Indeed, snowfall is part of Flagstaff's identity.


    Snow in Flagstaff?

    Snow in Flagstaff
    Snow in Flagstaff. Flickr.

    While the central question of this section is not up for discussion, it is necessary to note that Flagstaff does not snow as much as people think. It is generally believed that the average snowfall in Flagstaff reaches 100 inches effortlessly, but in reality, it barely exceeds 83 inches.

    Curious fact

    In case you’re wondering when exactly the snow season begins and ends in Flagstaff, it starts on October 30 and ends on April 29 (some minor snowfall may be recorded in May.)

    In recent years, Flagstaff has experienced even heavier than usual daily snowfall, even going so far as to set a new daily snowfall record on February 21, 2019, with almost 36 inches of snow. Due to the latter, in 2020, Flagstaff was declared the third snowiest city in the United States. 

    The climate of Flagstaff


    Due to the climatological and topographical characteristics of the city, Flagstaff enjoys a very diverse climate, which can range from a warm dry-summer Mediterranean climate (Csb) to a Hemiboreal climate (Dsb and Dfb), passing through other types of weather such as the semi-arid Climate (BSk) and different variations of semi-arid climates (type B.)

    Unlike other cities, Flagstaff's climate variation is not minimal; in fact, up to ten different climate types have been recorded within its boundaries (BSk, Csa, Csb, Cwa, Cwb, Dfb, Dsa, Dsb, Dwa, and Dwb.)

    Regardless of all the climatic variations that Flagstaff may experience throughout the year, the passing of the seasons will always be noticeable. On average, Flagstaff experiences temperatures near 45°F during the winter and summer temperatures near 80°F. Thanks to the latter, Flagstaff enjoys one of the most pleasant summers compared to the southern cities of Arizona.

    Finally, as far as precipitation behavior is concerned, Flagstaff receives more than half of its annual precipitation during the winter and summer, with the latter being the wettest month of all, averaging seven inches of rainfall. On the other hand, although Flagstaff usually experiences its dry season between May and June, this season is not exempt from rain.


    Summer weather characteristics

    • Highest record temperature: 97 °F / 36.1 °C (July, 1973.)
    • Average high: 78.62 °F (25.9 °C.)
    • Average low: 46.75 °F (8.2 °C.)
    • Average precipitation per summer month: 1.95 inches (4.9 cm.)

    Winter weather characteristics

    • Lowest record temperature: -37 °F / 38.3 °C (January, 1937.)
    • Average high: 46.08 °F (7.8 °C.)
    • Average low: 19.48 °F (-6.9 °C.)
    • Average precipitation per winter month: 2 inches (5.08 cm.)
    • Average snowfall per winter month: 18.58 inches (47.2 cm.)

    Precipitation and other weather characteristics

    • Average precipitation: 20.52 inches (52.1 cm.)
    • Average annual snowfall: 90.1 inches (228.8 cm.)
    • Average snowy days: 29 days.
    • Range of freezing temperatures: September – June.

    When does it snow in Flagstaff? 🌨

    Snow in Flagstaff
    Snow in Flagstaff. Flickr.

    Does it snow in Flagstaff in October? 

    Yes, it might snow in October. Usually, Flagstaff's snow season begins on October 30, reaching an average accumulation of one and a half inches in just two days. 

    Does it snow in Flagstaff in November? 

    Yes, it does! Although winter hasn't officially begun yet, during November, Flagstaff experiences as much or more winter snowfall than any other region in the northern states of the United States, reaching a snow accumulation of more than 8 inches. 

    Does it snow in Flagstaff in December? 

    Yes, it does! As might be expected, December snowfall is relatively common in Flagstaff, so it's no surprise that Flagstaff is used to experiencing a White Christmas regularly. 

    Does it snow in Flagstaff in January? 

    Yes, it does! January is the snowiest month in Flagstaff, with an average snowpack of nearly 21 inches. 

    Does it snow in Flagstaff in February?

    Yes, it does! Flagstaff experiences even heavier snowfalls than in December, which is truly surprising. 

    Does it snow in Flagstaff in March?

    Yes, it does! In Flagstaff, winter and snow seasons are not strictly related, so the end of the winter does not necessarily mean the end of the snow season. 

    Does it snow in Flagstaff in April? 

    Yes, it does! As mentioned in the previous section, snowfall in Flagstaff persists even after the end of winter. 

    Does it snow in Flagstaff in May? 

    Yes, it might snow in May. Although Flagstaff's winter season usually ends on April 29, there have been many occasions when measurable snowfall was recorded during May.

    How much does it snow in Flagstaff? 🌨

    Next, we present an informative table on different climatological parameters of Flagstaff, which includes the average snowfall per month expressed in inches:

    Average low °F (°C)17.619.623.828.234.642.551.450.642.531.523.016.931.9
    Mean minimum °F (°C)−−1.4−5.5
    Record low °F (°C)−30−23−16−2722322420−2−13−23−30
    Average precipitation (inches)
    Average snowfall (inches)20.919.315.
    Average extreme snow depth (inches)1110930000014916
    Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)7875521213854782
    Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)66521000013529

    Informative table on different climatological parameters of Flagstaff, which includes the average snowfall per month expressed in inches.

    The above data comes from climatic data provided by the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport.

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