Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 | 9:31 a.m.
A cold front that settled into the Las Vegas Valley overnight with a mix of light rain and snow is expected to bring below-freezing temperatures for the rest of the week.
Temperature dropped from a high of 65 degrees on Tuesday to a low of 37 degrees at night as a mix of rain and snow fell across the valley. While the snow did not accumulate in the Las Vegas Valley, Indian Springs received enough to gather on cars and grass, National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Lericos said.
The Nevada Highway Patrol is also requiring vehicles to have tire chains or four-wheel drive to travel into the Spring Mountains.
The valley is expected to only get colder after today. The NWS issued a hard freeze warning, indicating that sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or highly likely, that will start at 9 p.m. Wednesday and last until Friday morning.
Lericos said the valley will reach a low of 28 degrees on Thursday and Friday at McCarran International Airport. However, temperatures could reach the low 20s in Centennial and other outlying areas of the valley at higher elevations, and dip to the teens at Red Rock.
By comparison, the low is only 30 degrees in Chicago, 40 degrees in New York City, 45 degrees in Los Angeles and a toasty 71 degrees in Miami. However, in International Falls, Minn., the low is 5 degrees today, with a high of just 16 degrees.
The freezing weather isn’t expected to go anywhere this weekend, Lericos said. A second cold front could move in Saturday for the Las Vegas Valley, keeping temperatures sub-freezing until Monday, with a 60 percent chance for snow on Saturday, meteorologist Clay Morgan said.
Most of the snow will hit Lincoln County and central Mohave County, but it could drift into Las Vegas, accumulating up to 1 or 2 inches. Snow levels are expected to start at about 3,500 feet elevation and then lower to about 2,500 feet late Saturday night. Residents in the north or west portions of Las Vegas have the highest chances for snow, Morgan said, but there is potential for snow throughout the entire valley.
As temperatures drop, Clark County officials warn residents of bursting pipes, frostbite and hypothermia. To deal with the freezing weather, they encourage residents to do the following:
• Dress in layers to stay warm.
• Wrap pipes in insulation and let faucets drip a little.
• Never use gas appliances such as ovens, ranges, or clothes dryers to heat your home.
• Use extreme caution while driving in winter storms.
• Stay tuned to local TV or radio stations for information about weather conditions.