Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 | 6:09 a.m.
Get ready for a mostly cloudy and breezy day, with winds gusting as high as 50 mph in the Las Vegas Valley.
Temperatures will climb to the low 60s today, but the National Weather Service has issued weather advisories and warnings as a winter storm rolls in tonight, bringing wet weather and snow for the weekend.
The wind advisory, which runs from 10 a.m. today until 1 a.m. Saturday, includes Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, Summerlin, Nellis, Mountains Edge, Seven Hills and Blue Diamond, the weather service said.
Drivers of motorcycles, vans, campers, trailers and any high-profile vehicle should be alert to the danger of these winds, the weather service said.
The strong winds will make for difficult travel along Las Vegas Valley roads, especially on the 215 Beltway between Rainbow Boulevard and the 215 and U.S. Highway 95 intersection in Centennial Hills, they said.
Forecaster say winds will be from the southwest at 20 to 30 mph, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph. Local gusts of 50 to 55 mph will be possible along the far west side of the valley, they said.
Winds will increase late this morning, with the strongest winds expected between 3 p.m. and midnight, forecasters said.
A high wind warning has been issued for the Spring Mountains, Red Rock Canyon and the town of Mount Charleston. Winds are expected to increase to over 40 mph this morning, with periods of downslope winds over 60 mph expected around midnight, they said.
Travel is expected to be difficult on Kyle and Lee Canyon roads and Nevada State Route 160, they said. Nevada State Route 159 will mostly likely see the highest winds, they said. There is some potential for trees to be downed and lightweight objects to be blown away or damaged.
Precipitation is expected to begin to reach the valley around 10 tonight, with snow moving into the mountains.
Forecasters say snow could potentially be seen at elevations between 2,000 feet to 3,000 feet on Saturday and Sunday.
Steadier precipitation will begin to taper off to scattered showers Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning, they said.
Winter storm warnings are in effect for Saturday for the Spring Mountains and Sheep Range, the weather service said.
Snow levels will begin around elevations of 5,000 feet before lowering to 3,000 to 3,500 feet by Saturday afternoon, forecasters said.
Total snow accumulations will be between 6 and 16 inches at and above the 6,000-foot level, they said.
Accumulations of between 1 and 3 inches could be possible as low as elevations of 3,000 to 4,000 feet Saturday afternoon in the Spring Mountain foothills, which would include Red Rock Canyon and Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.
The snow could make travel difficult, if not impossible, on area roadways, including State Route 160 between Las Vegas and Pahrump as well as Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon roads on Mount Charleston, they said. There is also the potential for slick travel Saturday afternoon on State Route 159, as well as portions of the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Loop, forecasters said.
At 5:56 a.m. today, the temperature at McCarran International Airport was 47 degrees, with winds gusting to 32 mph. The normal low for today's date is 46 degrees. The record low was 26 degrees, set in 1960.
Around the valley just before 5 a.m., temperatures were 44 degrees at North Las Vegas Airport, 48 degrees at Nellis Air Force Base and 45 degrees at Henderson Executive Airport.
Temperatures in the valley were to rise today to 53 degrees by 9 a.m., to 60 degrees by noon and reach a high of 63 degrees by 1 p.m., forecasters said. The normal high for today's date is 65 degrees and the record high was 85 degrees, set in 1986.
Temperatures are expected to drop to 57 degrees by 6 p.m., to 52 degrees by 9 p.m. and to 49 degrees by midnight, forecasters said.
Saturday's morning low will be 48 degrees and Saturday's high will climb to 49 degrees by noon, they said.