You see it every winter in Las Vegas.
Just visit McCarran as a plane lands from southern
California, or as they pull into their hotel from a 4 or 5
hour drive and get out of a car, tourists arriving for their
first winter visit to Vegas:
“What is this on my skin? Is this… cold?” Yes, that is cold, and you are in Las Vegas.
Cold can be surprise for some but most at least understand that it will be hot in the summer, however if you are from an area with moderate temperatures, the first time you walk outside when it’s 110 Fahrenheit or so it may be something of a shock, dry heat or not. Don’t worry, you get used to it.
Spring and fall can vary. Some years you won’t get much of a season, one day it’s hot, the next cold or vice versa, other times you’ll get a couple months of perfect temperatures, more on that below.
It’s not as bad as you think. Generally the warmest summer months, from June thru August (it can vary) temperatures will remain from high 90’s to low 100’s Fahrenheit with 20 percent humidity. A dry heat as they say which makes it more tolerable for most. Night-time temperatures during the summer are usually very comfortable, dropping about 20 degrees. Summer weather usually lasts from around April through September and sometimes early October.
The hottest days will get above 110, and you’ll have a couple crazy days of 115 or so, and at that point it really doesn’t matter how dry the heat is. This is not the norm for the entire summer. July 2011 saw the hottest month in history, every day reaching over 100 degrees at some point. Record high is 117, which has been reached on a couple of occasions.
In Las Vegas seasons can change pretty fast. You may get a week or even a couple weeks of comfortable weather, then one day it’s just really hot or really cold depending which way it’s changing. Check the forecast if you are visiting this time of year, we may get a rogue week that feels like the weather is about to change followed by another month or so of really hot or cold temperatures.
Spring can begin as early as February and last until April. These months will see some perfect weather, but it could at any time get cold again.
Fall is usually October and November, and again it can vary. The end of October may be very cold, but November could have some of the nicest weather of the year.
Most hotels close their pools and night-time lows can drop to below freezing (it even snows a couple times a decade). So be prepared. On the other hand, much of the winter will see temperatures of 60 Fahrenheit and over. Once you’re acclimated to Vegas weather this will feel pretty cold (or if you’re from someplace tropical) but sure enough you’ll find New Yorkers, tourists from Chicago, Detroit, etc. in shorts and t-shirts wondering why the pool’s closed. Watch out for the wind too, it can gust upwards of 40 miles per hour making it feel even colder.
Las Vegas averages only 4 inches of rain a year, mostly during June and August. Flash floods are a possibility, but are not common. It snowed in specific areas in 2003, and in 2008 and 2009.