Does It Snow in Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is one of the hottest and driest cities in the world. The sun shines an average of 300 plus days a year in Las Vegas, Nevada and it only rains on about 29 days per year on average. But on rare occasions occurring every few years it does snow in Las Vegas.
Surrounding Las Vegas are mountains with much higher elevations than the city itself and each winter some snowfall can be seen on these mountains. But Las Vegas itself lies in a valley where temperatures are warmer than in the mountains so snowfall when it does occur rarely amounts to much and very rarely accumulates. The elevation of Las Vegas is 2,030 feet above sea level, which seems rather high in elevation considering that Las Vegas is in a desert valley.
Image Source by Tombrarian
It does snow in Las Vegas. What might not seem like a lot of snow to someone from northern states in the United States, to those that live in Las Vegas, these snowstorms were rather unique to them.
Heaviest Snow Storms in Las Vegas
1. The heaviest snowfall in Las Vegas occurred on January 31, 1979. Las Vegas being unused to much snow, let alone a lot of snow was brought to a halt with this snow storm. When the snow stopped falling, the official measurement was 7.4 inches of snow. The storm closed every school in the Clark County School District along with Clark County Community College and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV).
2. Two separate snow storms hit in January 1949. The first snowstorm occurred from January 10-12, 1949. The second snowstorm occurred on January 25 and the total accumulation from the storms left 4.7 inches at the city's official weather station. But the snow was gone before long.
3. This storm could be classified as the heaviest snowstorm in Las Vegas history, but it occurred over a three-day period. The snow fell on January 1st, 4th and the 5th with a daily average of 4.5 inches of snow each day. The total snow on the ground at the National Weather Service’s official measuring site at McCarran International Airport was a record 13.4 inches.
4. On February 3, 1939, Las Vegas saw its first ever recorded February snowfall. The storm left 4 inches of snow and also the coldest day of that winter with a temperature of 20 F degrees. This snowstorm was estimated to be the first snowfall since 1909.
5. December 17, 2008 saw 3.6 inches of snow officially in Las Vegas and places like Henderson, Nevada saw as much as 8 inches of snow on the ground.
According to weather historian Christopher C. Burt, at Weather Underground, the most snow to fall in Las Vegas was 12 inches in 1909.
Needless to say, that whenever it snows in Las Vegas, it is quite a sight for everyone to see and get outside and take pictures and dodge snowballs.
The coldest temperature reading ever in Las Vegas is 8 degrees which has occurred on a number of different dates including January 13, 1963. The coldest high temperature for a day in the city is 28 degrees which has occurred twice and just one other time it was 29 degrees. When the temperature rises to over freezing on almost every single day ever recorded in Las Vegas history it is impossible for snow to last in the city.
Snow or at least snow flurries have been recorded in Las Vegas in the months of November through April. The snow in April was just flurries which occurred on April 2, 1997 but on November 15, 1964 over 3 inches of snow fell at the airport.
In both 1941 and 1988 trace amounts of snow fell on Christmas Day but it's a pretty sure bet that Las Vegas will not have a white Christmas this year or almost any other year.
But if someone asks you whether or not it ever snows in Las Vegas the answer is Yes!
For more see: