Normally by now, this mountain city has normally seen more than two feet of snow.
But this winter hasn’t been kind so far to Flagstaff, Arizona, a city of about 70,000 people perched nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, and sitting right next door to the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort. Flagstaff hasn’t seen any measurable snowfall so far this winter, a rare anomaly that is already beginning to challenge the record books.
For Flagstaff, this is now the eighth-latest measurable snow on record, with a near-lock that it’ll move into a top-five position by the new year.
— NWS Flagstaff (@NWSFlagstaff) December 25, 2017
Since September 1st, Flagstaff has only seen 0.43″ of rain or snow, making it the driest Sept. 1 – Dec. 25 on record. It should also be noted that Flagstaff averages over 100 inches of snow each winter, making it one of the snowiest cities in the lower 48 (that’s more than Buffalo, New York, for example).
A big ridge of high pressure has kept Flagstaff and much of the Southwest basking in above average temperatures – and a desperate shortage of snowfall not only for Flagstaff, but through much of the Four Corners region that depends on the snow for tourism (skiing and snowboarding, primarily) and water during the spring melt. Take a look at the latest snow pack figures from the Southwest, and the huge deficit of it in the higher terrain of Arizona, New Mexico and southern Utah in particular:
There’s no snow in the forecast either for Flagstaff, as that same huge ridge of high pressure continues to keep the city not only dry, but warm. That trend will continue into the new year.
Stay with WeatherNation to see if Flagstaff’s snow-free streak continues.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi