The short answer is “12.7 inches per year”.
I grew up at the beach in LA, where “snow” was something that you drove to, not something that you lived in.
I’m not a fan of snow, but I do love Prescott, so snow is an issue for me.
But, it’s a tolerable issue.
The thing about Prescott is that it’s in the mountains, at a relative high elevation at 5,400 feet, higher than Denver, CO, at 5,280 feet.
Flagstaff, to the north, is higher and gets much more snow, at 103 inches per year.
Phoenix, to the south, is hot all year and never gets snow.
Prescott is in the middle of the state and it is just right.
The Reality Of Snow in Prescott
The thing is that we really don’t get exactly 12.7 inches every year.
Sometimes, it’s more and sometimes it’s less.
A normal snow storm in Prescott will drop a couple of inches.
Maybe every other year or so, we will get 5 inches at one time. It’s rare that we get 10 inches at once.
We also don’t have days of overcast weather. It seems that the cold front will come through and drop the snow, but the next morning, it’s clear and sunny.
It might stay cold, but the sun hits the ground and the snow melts, usually within a day or so.
The city is set up and ready for those snow storms.
Snow plow trucks will be out and clearing the streets as soon as the snow starts falling.
The first pass is to move all of the snow to the center of the streets, to clear lanes for traffic.
The second pass is with bulldozers picking up the piles of snow from the center of the roads and dumping it in dump trucks which haul it away.
Roads have also been temporarily shut down while the snow is removed.
I never followed a dump truck, so I’m not sure when they dump it, but we have plenty of open land around.
All I know is that it magically disappears through the hard work of our maintenance department.
The first block to the east of Courthouse Square on Gurley St. is a busy street.
It’s also a bit of a hill. Because the Elk’s Theater is located there, it’s referred to as “Elks Hill”.
When we get some snow, or a little ice, cars have a hard time making it up the hill, so they shut that one block down.
I remember sitting in the driveway of the Hassayampa Hotel, watching a brand new Camaro spins it wheels all the way up the hill at about 2mph. I could have walked faster than it was moving.
They closed the street about 10 minutes later.
Every few years, occasionally, we’ll get a big storm coming through.
In Feb. of 2019, we got a foot and a half of snow in downtown Prescott.
It pretty much shut down the town for a day, then things slowly got cleaned up and hauled away.
That one took about 3 days to get all cleared out and back to normal.
It’s been 5 or 8 years at least, since the last time that happened.
January gets a lot of snow, but February gets the most.
Officially, March gets more than January, but that’s not how it feels.
Maybe I’m used to the snow by March, because January seems to hit harder than March.
We rarely get a “White Christmas”, but it’s nice when we do.
I’m just glad that even with a (relatively) lot of snow, it melts off quickly.
It’s enough of a novelty to be fun, and beautiful, then it’s gone before it becomes a muddy mess.
If the snow I’ve experienced in Prescott is my least favorite thing about the place, I can live with it.
The benefits of living here so far outweigh the aggravation of a few snow days, so they don’t even matter.
When I talk to relatives who live in the Mid-West, dealing with 5 feet of snow, I’m even more happy to live here.