For those that do not know Flagstaff, Arizona, you would be dumbfounded by the weather. By far, it has the most unpredictable and random weather that I have ever seen. I have seen heavy thunderstorms and sunshine in a matter of minutes. I also have seen intense rain while the sun was also shining. It truly is baffling to me how drastically different the weather can be in such a short amount of time. However, I have been going to Northern Arizona University for three years and am going on my fourth year, so I am used to it now. If The Tunnels inspires you to visit our little mountain community, then I suggest you follow my advice and be prepared. If you follow these steps, you are sure to have a great time in Flagstaff.
1. Be Prepared for Rain
Just bring a waterproof jacket and/or an umbrella. Trust me. Like I said before, even if it is a sunny day outside, rain could be right around the corner. Simply stuffing an umbrella or jacket into your bag might seem pointless, but you'll thank me once a downpour hits. Everyone else will be soaked head to toe while you are content and dry. Of course, the rain might not last long and you can just quickly stash away your things for the next time. Also, not only is it important to protect yourself, but shield your items as well. I would recommend covering your valuables in your backpack with a plastic bag. This has saved my laptop numerous times from getting soaked while in my backpack.
2. Be Mindful of Snow
If you plan on visiting in the winter time or even later on in the spring (It has snowed in May on NAU's graduation before), I would suggest anticipating snow. Although Flagstaff sometimes has dry winters, it is good to be ready so you remain safe. It is crucial to make sure that your vehicle is prepared for ice and snow. Even if the road isn't snowy, it could still be slick from ice. Make sure your vehicle has snow tires and you are knowledgeable with how to drive on snow and ice. For example, slamming on your breaks is a terrible idea and will probably result in damage to your car. Also, like with rain, I would suggest bringing a snow jacket that is waterproof and insulated enough that you will stay warm. According to the weather channel, the average low in December and January is a frigid 17 degrees, with the possibility of even colder weather.
3. Storms Can Be Powerful Here
Storms in Flagstaff can get a little crazy if you are not expecting them. It is always important to check the weather radar and see how strong the rain or snow might be. This way, you can plan around the storm to ensure that you are safe. For example, in September, a strong storm hit my apartment that was a solid "red" color on the weather radar. I lost power three times in less than half an hour. February of this year, Flagstaff received about a foot of snow in one storm. Driving conditions were unsafe due to the snow plows having trouble keeping up with the constant downpour of frozen water.
While Flagstaff is a beautiful town, it is crucial to understand how unpredictable and powerful the weather can be. If you are mindful of this and follow my tips, you are sure to have a fun and safe time in Northern Arizona. Have a great trip!