An important question for us: does it snow in Las Vegas? What about different seasons? Does the desert experience seasonal changes like up here in Boston? If you’re like me and don’t know much about the desert, you’ll be surprised by the answer.
Snow in Las Vegas
Las Vegas resides in the Mojave Desert, a vast expanse that touches California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. The Mojave Desert receives an average of 310 days of sunlight with very short, mild winters. Wikipedia states that the temperature averages around 45 degrees Fahrenheit in winter and rarely falls below freezing, which would make it hard for snow in Las Vegas to fall.
This Yahoo! Answers post (I know, it’s not the most scientific place for information) has residents claiming that Las Vegas receives about an inch of snow a year. It mostly melts the same day, usually melting before it even touches the ground. With Vegas receiving annual precipitation of about 4 inches a year, it seems that rain is far more likely to fall than snow.
The short version: Yes! It does snow in Las Vegas! Most of it melts before it hits the ground. Only rarely does it ever accumulate. To me, this sounds like the perfect winter! Cold enough to want to drink hot cocoa by the fireplace and not enough snow to hurt your lower back with constant shoveling. But what about the rest of the seasons?
Seasons in Las Vegas
I always imagined the desert having two extremes: hot most of the year, then (relatively) cold for the winter months. In actuality, Las Vegas is similar to any other area north of the tropics.
Spring warms up and colorful flowers bloom. Summer brings hot, brutal weather. Autumn brings the winter chill and the plant life prepare for the cold.
There are some big differences, however, between Las Vegas and Boston seasons.
Las Vegas temperatures swing sharply to “summer-like” conditions, May can easily and consistently break 90 degrees, which is not typical in the New England area.
The winter months bring most of the precipitation and snow in Las Vegas, with the monsoon season of July & August a close second. Boston has a fairly even distribution of precipitation throughout the year with the months of March and April noticeably higher. As the saying goes: “April showers bring May flowers.”
Finally, humidity drops in Vegas as early as April, making for arid conditions. On the contrary, humidity tends to spike in the hotter, summer months in the Boston area.
One of our main reasons for moving to Vegas was to get away from the harsh, New England winters. According to my research, it looks like we’ll get all the benefits of an area with seasonal changes, but none of the terribleness of winter. I’m excited to experience this myself.
Photos courtesy of user d2k6 and pagedoodly on Flickr