The Great Blizzard Of 1967 Dumped 103 Inches Of Snow On Arizona

Winter storms certainly aren’t uncommon here in Arizona, at least not in our northern latitudes. That said, some years are more brutal than others, and 1967 was one of them. On a fateful day that December, just two weeks before Christmas, a deluge of nonstop rain and snow fell in the Flagstaff area for eight straight days. With nearly 103 inches recorded in some spots, it was the worst winter storm the Grand Canyon State has ever seen. Blizzards in Arizona were almost unheard of… until then.

Author’s Note: There are surprisingly few photos from the 1967 blizzard, so we’ve used a few stand-in photos from other snowy years in Arizona for illustrative purposes.

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Some even speculate the accumulated snowfall total was even higher, citing human error for the discrepancy. What do you think? Were you alive to experience the blizzard? Tell us your thoughts and/or personal anecdotes in the comments, and check out our previous article to learn about another winter storm that took Arizona by surprise.

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Blizzards in Arizona

September 27, 2021

Where does it snow in Arizona?  

Arizona might be located in the Sonoran Desert, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get our fair share of the fluffy white stuff every year. The town of Flagstaff is a snow lover’s dream come true, getting upwards of about 70+ inches of snow per year. Just south of there, in beautiful Sedona, there’s less snow in terms of inches, but tons of value in the incredibly photogenic nature of the town when it’s covered in the stuff. There’s also the White Mountains in eastern Arizona, particularly Pinetop, which sees an average of about 38 inches per year. Other ideal locations for snow in Arizona include Payson and much of the already-amazing Mogollon Rim, Prescott, the Grand Canyon, and Mt. Lemmon, down near Tucson. As long as you know all the hotspots, you’re sure to find a winter wonderland somewhere around the Copper State.  

What is winter in Arizona like?   

That depends entirely on where you’ve decided to settle down. Winters in central Arizona are usually quite mild, with no snow (though there have been years where it did!) and only a few nights below freezing. You won’t find black ice on the roads and there won’t be a blizzard anywhere near Phoenix, but that’s part of what’s so appealing about it in winter. For enduring the months of incredibly high temps, we are rewarded with remarkably lovely winters. Further north and further east, it gets much chillier, with plenty of snow and sometimes very dense snowstorms. The average high in December, January, and February is in the 40s, though it’s not as cold as you’d expect just from looking at photos. You’ll have to experience it to really get it! For a look at some of Arizona’s most beautiful snowy landscapes, take a look at this article