Published Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 | 1:11 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 | 3:15 p.m.
As the Deep South faces rare snow and ice, Las Vegas will be flirting with breaking decades-old high temperatures for the next couple of days.
Temperatures in the Las Vegas Valley are expected to reach 72 degrees on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Highs have the potential to surpass the record of 72 for Jan. 30, set in 1971, Weather Service meteorologist Chris Outler said.
The balmy weather with be short-lived, though, as the unseasonably temperate days are expected to end Friday, Temperatures are forecast to dip into the 50s this weekend.
A weather system moving in from the northwest is also expected to bring winds of 10 to 35 mph on Thursday, Outler said. On the eastern slopes of Mount Charleston and Red Rock Canyon, gusts between 70 and 80 mph are possible Wednesday night and Thursday, forecasters said.
The Clark County Department of Air Quality issued a dust advisory for Thursday because of the potential for strong winds. Air Quality Department officials said the windy conditions were likely to prompt blowing dust in some areas of the valley. Airborne dust is a form of inhalable air pollution called particulate matter, which aggravates respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma. The advisory said it may be best for children, the elderly,and people with respiratory diseases to stay indoors during dust storms.
What’s not in the forecast is rain.
The valley’s record winter drought has reached 54 days, a week longer than the previous record for consecutive dry winter days.
And the streak is expected to continue through the week. The best chance for rain this week is on Thursday, and that’s only a 15 percent chance, Outler said.