St George snow day

This week, what generally only happens once a year happened: St George snow.

Snow falling
Snow started early on the eve of Presidents Day 2019.

Despite its nearly annual occurrence, St George snow always catches the locals off guard. And it is certainly something of note if you are looking to relocated to what is usually referred to as “sunny St. George.” Don’t despair, St George snow comes and then it goes. Typically about once a year.

St George snow

It happened this year on President’s Day. Some say if you have to have St George snow, the best day to get it is on a day when many people were not going to work or school. Others likely had outdoor plans cancelled. Still others were likely among the throngs who happily embraced the one-day winter storm and got outside to enjoy the St George snow.

Snow on the rocks in St George
St George snow doesn’t happen often, but when it does it makes for fascinating patterns.

The storm

Around 10 p.m. On Feb. 17, the snow started. Light, large flakes came down consistently. And while St George snow typically doesn’t stick to the ground, after a while, this St George snow found a place to stay for about half a day.

Some residents woke up to find not only the St George snow, but a power outage as well. According to the an article on, one resident reported being out of power for two hours.

Snow on the bare trees
St George snow looks like lace on the bare trees

According to Kristy VanDyke, Fox 13 chief meteorologist, this is the most St George snow in 20 years, as far as accumulation goes. It was reported that St. George received 3.8 inches. In 1997 they received 4 inches of St George snow.

Snow on palm fronds
Snow on palm fronds speaks of the true winter desert.

The norm

St George snow
Desert snow on President’s Day 2019

While St. George definitely fits into the “desert” category, it does receive some moisture throughout the year. According to Sperling’s Best Places web site, St. George gets an average of 3 inches of snow per year and 8 inches of rain. Compare that nationally to 26 inches of snow and 39 inches of rain, it’s clear why the idea of St George snow has so many people excited.

Some years, Presidents Day weekend is almost balmy with temperatures in the mid-70s. Not this time. Despite the area’s 300 days of sunshine per year, this was not one of them.

Trees covered in snow
Lace-like snow on the trees in St. George

Short-lived fun

For those who love the idea of snow, no doubt the chance to sled, build snowmen and catch a few flakes on your tongue was a welcome one. For those who can’t handle the idea of the sky crying frozen tears, take comfort in the fact that St George snow seldom lasts long. Even during this year’s St George snow storm, by midday on President’s Day, the snow was transitioning into a soft, slushy mess and then, it disappeared.

St George snow man
All that remains of St George snow the day after the storm.

Sparse supplies

One of the somewhat comical elements about a St George snow storm is the creative lengths to which people will go to enjoy the short-lived winter weather. Fewer St. Georgians are prepared with snow gear. Snow pants, gloves, sleds, they’re all in short supply. The clothing lack can usually be taken care of by simply layering several items to create something akin to winter clothes. But what about snow recreation tools? Well, you can get creative with that too.

Out on the makeshift sledding hills in St George snow, one could witness children trying everything from cardboard boxes to over-sized metal kitchen bowls to get from point A to point B — the top of the hill to the bottom.

What remains to be seen is how people will react to a second storm. One is predicted for Thursday, but remains to be seen.

 Spring is near

For those of you worrying that this will become the new normal for St. George weather, never fear. Spring still tends to come early to the area; followed by summer with plenty of heat to melt the memories of a one-time St George snow storm away.

Think you would like to live in an area with only a rare chance for snow? Check out all the great listings here and you can enjoy the St George snow, and then enjoy when it melts away.