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I just got one right after server restart near Engine of the Maker, and it was not snowing. I'd heard that they can spawn without snow. It was an Uncommon, but thanks to server restart I got a Rare Scourge Whelping and Uncommon Arctic Fox Kit in 10 minutes.
I don't believe it is quest phasing that causes you to lose the ones you see in flight, rather it is crossrealm phasing. The great thing about server restart is that Crossrealm phasing is turned off usually for about 15 minutes after restart.
Like some other pets, this one is only available if it "joins the fight". I've seen 2 in Cape of Stranglethorn, both were when figthing a Strand Crab.