Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Aug. 26, 2011 | 2 a.m.
This week’s record-high temperatures might make some Las Vegans consider moving to colder climes where snow is more common than 110-degree heat waves. But Las Vegas does get the white stuff from time to time.
Although it doesn’t happen every year, Las Vegas averaged 0.3 inches of snow annually from 1981 to 2010.
The most snow ever recorded from a storm in Las Vegas was Jan. 4-5, 1974, when 9 inches fell at McCarran International Airport. But unofficial weather records say a whopping 13 inches fell Dec. 20-21, 1909.
To help you cool off, here’s a look at some snowstorms Las Vegas has experienced in the last 15 years:
Photo by Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun
Dec. 6, 1998
The official measurement was 1 inch for this storm, but some of the northern valley got at least an inch more. The Strip got a dusting, covering palm trees to the delight of tourists.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Las Vegas Sun
Dec. 30, 2003
The central part of the valley got 1.3 inches of snow at the close of 2003, but other parts of the valley got significantly more, with up to 5 inches falling in Summerlin and the northern valley.
Photo by R. Marsh Starks/Las Vegas Sun
Jan. 7, 2005
The "Pineapple Express" storm system was one of the worst seen in the western United States in the past century. For Las Vegas, it brought 1 inch of snow to the airport and up to 8 inches in parts of Summerlin.
Photo by Tiffany Brown /Las Vegas Sun
Dec. 17, 2008
This was the seventh-highest snowfall ever recorded in Las Vegas, closing down some parts of town. But snow measurements varied widely. The northern valley barely got a dusting, the welcome sign on the Strip got 1.7 inches, the official measurement at the National Weather Service was 3.6 inches and a Henderson neighborhood near Railroad Pass got 10 inches.
Photo by Steve Marcus
Jan. 3, 2011
There was just a trace amount of snow at McCarran on this winter morning and only occasional flurries on the Strip, but some parts of the valley got up to 3 inches.