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Cold weather scenes

Cold weather outbreaks in the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin have resulted in significant impacts. Although the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin covers a diverse geographical area, significant pushes of air of Arctic origin have caused impacts from the lower desert elevations to the Great Basin. In the Mojave Desert, impacts have included millions of dollars in damage has been done to pipes and parts on swimming pools as well as plants tolerant to warmer climates. In the southern Great Basin, the greatest impact has been to livestock.

Typical cold weather pattern.

Typical atmospheric set-up for an outbreak of cold weather in the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin Typically the jet stream has dipped south and is located near the coast of southern California while an area of high pressure at the surface is often found centered near the border of Idaho and Montana.

While most Arctic outbreaks in the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin typically last a short duration there have been some exceptions. At long time weather stations in this area, January 1937 ranks as the coldest month on record based on average temperatures. Although not as frigid as January 1937, cold and snow dominated in January 1949 creating a dangerous and in some cases devestating combination. In more recent times, Arctic air plunged temperatures to all-time record lows in December 1990 in many locations.

January 1937 Front Page From The Las Vegas Review-Journal

The front of the Las Vegas Review-Journal from January 1937 during one of the greatest outbreaks of cold weather of all-time in the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin.

Hay lift operation in January 1949 in eastern Nevada

A flying boxcar drops hay to a rancher in eastern Nevada in Operation Hay Lift in January 1949. Photo Credit: Eastern Nevada Historic Photo Archives.

January 13, 1963 Front Page From The Las Vegas Review-Journal

The front of the Las Vegas Review-Journal from January 13, 1963 on the morning when Las Vegas tied the all-time record low of 8 degrees set on January 25, 1937.

December 31, 2010 Cold Creates Steam From MGM Grand Sign

With enough low-level moisture in place, cold air hitting the warm lights of the MGM Grand sign on the Las Vegas Strip created steam on New Year's Eve 2010. New Year's Eve 2010 set a record for the coldest high temperature ever for that date in Las Vegas at 38 degrees.


Below is a list of significant cold weather outbreaks in the County Warning Area served by the National Weather Service in Las Vegas. This information was compiled from National Weather Service observer records, Storm Data and Unusual Weather Phenomena and newspaper articles.

Significant Cold Weather Outbreaks In The Mojave Desert And Southern Great Basin
Date Description
January 7-18, 1888 This remains the earliest documented significant cold snap on record in southern Nevada. Pioche recorded an all-time record low of -16 degrees on the 15th. With the exception of the 13th, the low in Pioche was in the single digits or below zero on every day from January 7th through January 18th.
December 25, 1895 through January 3, 1896 A ten day cold snap lasted from Christmas Day of 1895 through January 3, 1896. Needles had 10 days in a row with a low temperature below 30 degrees which is the second longest stretch on record there dating back to 1893. Lows of 20 degrees were recorded at Needles on December 30th, January 1st and January 2nd.
January 1-3, 1907 January 1907 was described as one of the most severe winter months in years by volunteer weather observers at the time. Although cold and snowy weather dominated throughout the month, the most significant stretch of cold weather was from the New Year's Day through January 3rd. The coldest morning in most areas was on the 2nd. A low of -22 degrees was recorded at Geyser in Lincoln County while in Pioche the low was -5 that same morning. In Arizona, the low temperature at Kingman dropped to 9 degrees that morning. Needles recorded its coldest low temperature of 23 degrees on the morning of the 3rd.
January 5-14, 1913 Although cold weather dominated throughout January 1913, the coldest period was between January 5th and 14th when temperatures dropped to all-time record low minimums in some cases. The coldest temperatures were generally recorded on the 7th and 8th arriving courtesy of a gusty northwest wind that prevailed through sunset on the 6th. In Las Vegas, the coldest low recorded by a volunteer observer was 8 degrees at Las Vegas on Fremont Street on the 7th. Other lows that morning included -6 at Jean, -3 at Lida, 0 at Truxton, 4 at Independence and Lone Pine, 8 at Kingman, 10 at Bagdad, California, 12 at Barstow, 19 at Fort Mohave and 24 at Needles. An all-time record low of 15 degrees was recorded in Death Valley at the Greenland Ranch on the 8th.
December 8-31, 1916 While generally not among the top periods of cold weather ever recorded in the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin, the period from December 8th through December 31st marked a significantly long period of well below normal low temperatures, with the coldest weather lasting from the 8th through the 18th. At Needles, an all-time record 24 consecutive days with low temperatures of 32 degrees or below commenced on the 8th and lasted through the end of the month. In Las Vegas, a volunteer observer on Fremont Street recorded a low of 18 degrees on the 8th, 16 degrees on the 9th and 19 degrees on both the 15th and 16th. In Death Valley, Greenland Ranch reached 24 degrees on the 16th, the 17th, the 26th and the 28th, while at Needles the coldest low was 23 degrees on the 17th. In Kingman, a low of 16 degrees was recorded on the 24th. Independence recorded a low of -2 on the 27th, a reading not matched in December until 1990.
January 18-24, 1922 This cold snap was a shorter duration event but still intense. The coldest mornings were generally from the 19th through the 21st. In Las Vegas, a volunteer observer recorded a low of 14 degrees on Fremont Street on both the 20th and 21st followed by a low of 18 degrees on the 22nd. Greenland Ranch in Death Valley recorded lows of 25 degrees or lower from the 21st through 24th, with their coldest reading of 20 degrees logged on the 22nd. Needles reached a low of 21 degrees on the 21st, which was its coldest reading of this event. In Kingman, the coldest reading was 14 degrees on the 19th.
January 17-22, 1928 This cold snap was most notable in Death Valley at Greenland Ranch were it produced a record 4 consecutive days with a low of 20 degrees or colder, including a low of 18 degrees on the 19th. In Las Vegas, the observer on Fremont Street recorded their coldest low of 20 degrees that same morning. Other coldest lows included 13 at Beatty and 21 at Kingman on the 17th, -3 at Goldfield, 9 at Alamo and 28 at Needles on the 18th. The cold weather made moderately heavy feeding of range cattle necessary in southern Nevada.
February 7-13, 1933 The cold snap of February 7th through the 13th ranks as one of the most severe cold spells on record for the month of February. The chilliest morning was the 10th when virtually all locations set their coldest reading during this event. Goldfield recorded its second lowest temperature ever in February of -12 degrees that morning with records dating back to 1906. Boulder City recorded a high temperature of 29 degrees and a low of 12 degrees, making it the coldest maximum and coldest minimum temperatures ever recorded here in February. Kingman recorded an all-time February record low of 9 degrees. Other coldest lows during this event included on the 10th: -17 at Caliente, -6 at Alamo, 1 at Beatty, 6 at Searchlight, 8 at Independence and Truxton, 10 at Logandale, 16 at Haiwee, 21 at Trona and 22 at Needles while Lake Sabrina recorded -4 on the 7th, Fort Mohave dropped to 19 degrees on the 8th and Greenland Ranch in Death Valley reached 21 degrees on the 13th. In Nevada, heavy feeding of livestock and sheep was needed due to the severity of the cold and snow with the crusted snowpack causing a shrinkage in sheep.
January 1937 January 1937 overwhelmingly ranks as the coldest month on record at virtually all of the long term climate stations in the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin. Cold weather dominated throughout the month, with two periods of exceptionally cold weather. The first of these lasted from the 8th through the 12th. The second period lasted from the 17th through the 28th and was the coldest period of the month. In Las Vegas, the average monthly temperature of 31.2 degrees ranks as the coldest month ever and is 1.2 degrees colder than the second coldest month ever which is January 1949. Monthly average temperatures at Parker Reservoir (41.9), Death Valley (40.6), Needles (38.5), Twentynine Palms (35.4), Kingman (28.6), Haiwee (22.2), Independence (21.0), Caliente (9.0) and Goldfield (7.2) are all the coldest ever recorded at these locations since records started. In Las Vegas, a record 5 days had highs at or below freezing, with the maximum temperature of 28 degrees on the 8th and 21st holding the record for the coldest high temperature ever. There were two periods in this month in Las Vegas where the temperature held below freezing for over 48 consecutive hours. The lowest reading of the month at the old McCarran Airport, where official temperature records were then kept, was 8 degrees on the 25th while a volunteer observer in downtown Las Vegas near Fremont Street recorded a low of 10 degrees on the 22nd as their coldest low temperature of the month. At Needles, an all-time record low minimum temperature of 18 degrees was reached on the 22nd. The coldest high temperatures ever recorded were tied at Needles when it reached 35 degrees at on the 21st and 22nd and at Death Valley where it only reached a maximum of 38 degrees on the 21st. Other coldest low minimum temperatures of the month include -31 degrees at Caliente on the 9th (all-time coldest ever), -23 at Goldfield on the 21st (all-time coldest ever), -19 at South Lake on the 8th, -14 at Lake Sabrina on the 8th, -13 at Aspendell on the 21st, -9 at Alamo on the 21st and 22nd, -5 at Independence on the 9th (all-time coldest ever), -3 at Truxton on the 21st, 7 degrees at Searchlight on the 22nd (coldest ever in January), 8 degrees at Logandale, 11 at Boulder City on the 22nd (coldest ever in January) and at Twentynine Palms on the 22nd (coldest ever in January), 13 degrees at Trona on the 10th and 21 degrees at Death Valley at the Greenland Ranch. Several miners were stranded near Indian Springs and a bus and 15 cars were stuck between Beaver Dam and St. George on the highway due to a cold wind that drifted snow. The severity of the first cold spell was enough in Goldfield on January 7th that all pipes in the town froze solid and threatened the town's access to water. The severity of the cold during the month in Las Vegas and Boulder City resulted in numerous pipes bursting which left many homes and businesses without water. Antifreeze supplies ran out as well in both communities and coal supplies in Las Vegas ran short.
February 3-13, 1939 For most of the area, February 1939 ranks as the coldest February on record based on average temperature. A storm system ushered in the cold on the 3rd and was accompanied by what remains the greatest low elevation snow event on record in the Mojave Desert for the month of February. The coldest morning in Las Vegas was on the 5th when the low temperature at the old McCarran Airport (now Nellis Air Force Base) dropped to 18 degrees. Although the worst of the cold weather ended generally around the 13th, this month set an all-time record for February for the number of days with a low temperature at or below freezing in Las Vegas at 23. Downtown Las Vegas recorded a low of 21 degrees on the 6th. In Boulder City, the coldest low was 28 degrees reached on the 5th and again on the 10th. Kingman recorded a low of 11 degrees on the 8th and again on the 9th. Death Valley saw no freezing temperatures at Greenland Ranch with the lowest temperature of 33 degrees recorded on the 3rd and 10th. At Needles, the lowest temperature was 28 degrees on the 9th and 10th and there were 5 consecutive days with a low of 32 degrees or below from the 9th through the 13th.
January 1949 No other month on record matches January 1949 for the combination of snow and cold in the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin. While January 1937 was colder, January 1949 combined persistent cold with exceptionally heavy snow to create a hazardous combination unlike anything else experienced in this part of the country. Las Vegas recorded an all-time record for January and any month of low temperatures at or below freezing of 30 days at the official weather station at McCarran Airport. A record 12 days in Las Vegas had high temperatures below 40 degrees. The average temperature of 32.4 degrees at McCarran Airport ranks as the second coldest month on record for any month. A total of 12 days had precipitation fall on them in Las Vegas at McCarran Airport and on 11 of them, snow fell with total monthly snowfall at 16.7 inches. More snow fell this month at McCarran Airport than fell during all of the entire 1948-1949 snow season at Washington, D.C. (15.8 inches), Chicago (14.7 inches) or Detroit (13.7 inches). The coldest low temperature recorded at McCarran Airport was 16 degrees on the 5th while the coldest high temperature of 33 degrees was recorded on the 3rd. 3 major snowstorms impacted Las Vegas this month: from the 9th through 13th, 19th through 21st and 25th-26th, all of which produced measurable snow. The worst impacts came by the later half of the month as the persistent cold hampered snow melt, especially across south-central Nevada and resulted in snow depths of 2 feet or more. In Pioche, 40.0 inches of snow fell with at least 16 inches on the ground on every day from the 9th through the close of the month. Pioche also saw the temperature remain at or below freezing from the 9th through the 26th. Transportation was crippled with many communities struggling to remove snow. In Clark County, the sheriff sent rescue squads to find miners stuck in remote portions of the county due to access roads being blocked by snow. Las Vegas was virtually isolated to the outside world at some points as the snow made travel on roads impossible. Losses to merchants, hotels, transportation and building companies in Las Vegas were put at 1 million dollars (in 1949 dollars). Guided tours of the Hoover Dam dropped to an all-time low (for this time). Gambling figures showed Las Vegas area casinos only saw 25 to 75 percent of normal play during the month. Thousands of hotel reservations were cancelled along with numerous flights into McCarran Airport. Movie theaters saw a 40 percent drop in revenue during the month. Stores in Las Vegas saw shipments delayed by as much as 3 days and reported a drop in business mainly from ranchers from outlying areas. Schools in Clark County were closed on several days due the snow and cold. The snow even impacted the number of weddings in Las Vegas with a record low of 8 weddings done in a 24 hour period. Along the Colorado River, work on Davis Dam was halted by the snow and rain. The most significant impact though of this entire month was to the livestock industry in Nevada. An estimated 50,000 sheep and 15,000 cattle were reported marooned in Lincoln County in grazing areas by mid-month. By the later portion of the month, losses of at least 50 percent of livestock were reported in some areas of southern Nevada. A total of 5 million dollars in losses from livestock (in 1949 dollars) was reported in Clark, Nye, Esmeralda, Lincoln and White Pine Counties prompting the Nevada Governor as well as President Harry Truman to declare a state of emergency. Hay lift operations were conducted by helicopter to bring hay to stranded ranchers who could not reach the outside world by vehicle due to drifts as high as 8 feet blocking roads.
January 3-7, 1950 Although this cold snap lasted through the 16th, the most intense portion of it was from the 3rd through the 7th. This 5 day consecutive period at McCarran Airport marks the 2nd longest stretch on record where the low temperature was in the teens. The coldest reading at McCarran Airport of 12 degrees was reached on the 5th and 6th. In downtown Las Vegas, the coldest low was 9 degrees which was reached on the 4th, 5th and 6th. On Mt. Charleston, a low of -10 was recorded at the Lodge on the 5th. In Death Valley, Greenland Ranch recorded a low of 19 degrees on the 5th and 7th. Other coldest lows during this event included 6 at Indian Springs on the 6th, 9 at Pahrump on the 6th, 12 at the Barstow-Daggett Airport on the 7th, 13 at Twentynine Palms on the 4th, 19 at Boulder City on the 4th, 21 at Needles on the 4th and 25 at Parker Reservoir on the 4th.
January 11-15, 1963 The cold snap of January 11th through January 15th of 1963 was a short lasting but intense one. The coldest morning was generally on the 13th. In Las Vegas, McCarran International Airport registered a low of 8 degrees, which tied the all-time record set originally on January 25, 1937. The high temperature that day at McCarran only reached 31 degrees. The previous day (January 12th) McCarran recorded a high of 29 degrees and a low of 14 degrees which tied for the coldest day ever based on average temperature. A cooperative weather observer in the Sunrise Manor neighborhood of the Las Vegas Valley registered a low of 0 degrees on the 13th and 3 degrees on the 14th. The severity of the cold exploded water lines throughout the Las Vegas Valley and caused thousands of residents to loose power. The Las Vegas Valley Water District reported the cold set what was then a 24 hour record for calls due to burst water pipes. Stores in Las Vegas reported increased sales on portable heaters and antifreeze and one department store in downtown Las Vegas almost sold out of gloves and scarfs. At the Barstow-Daggett Airport, the low dropped to 8 degrees on the 13th which set an all-time record low for January and now ranks as the second lowest temperature on record for any month. Other coldest lows recorded on the 13th included -11 at Colorado City, -10 at Caliente, -1 at Indian Springs, 0 at Tuweep, 2 at Bishop, Lathrop Wells and Mesquite, 11 at Kingman and Trona, 15 at Baker, 20 at Furnace Creek in Death Valley and 24 at Iron Mountain. Needles recorded its coldest low of this event of 23 degrees on the 14th while Twentynine Palms reached its coldest reading of 21 degrees on the 12th and again on the 14th.
December 29, 1969 through January 7, 1970 This cold spell began in late December 1969 but reached its peak in January 1970 from the 3rd through the 6th. In Las Vegas, McCarran Airport recorded a low of 14 on the 3rd and 4th of January. In the Sunrise Manor neighborhood of the Las Vegas Valley, lows of 6, 5, 5, 9 and 9 were recorded from January 3rd through January 7th respecitively. Other coldest lows in Nevada on January 4th included 7 at Amargosa Valley, 11 at Elgin, 12 at Beatty, 14 at Logandale, 19 at Searchlight and 25 at Boulder City. Dyer reported a low of -9 on January 3rd. In California, the coldest reading of this event reported on January 4th included 5 at Bishop, 17 at the Barstow-Daggett Airport, 23 at Needles and 25 at Furnace Creek in Death Valley. Pipe Spring National Monument in Arizona reported a low of -3 on the 3rd, 4th and 6th of January.
January 3-10, 1971 An intense cold snap impacted the area starting on January 3rd and lasted through the 8th before moderating on the 9th and 10th. Las Vegas recorded 6 consecutive days from the 3rd through the 8th with a maximum temperature below 40 degrees at McCarran Airport which tied the all-time record set in January 1937. The coldest low at McCarran Airport was 12 degrees on January 6th while the coldest low at Sunrise Manor was 8 degrees reached that same morning. In Pahrump, a low of 5 was reached on the 5th while Caliente dropped to -9 on the 5th and 6th. In California, the cold was more noteable in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County than in the Owens Valley. The Barstow-Daggett Airport reported a low of 17 degrees on the 5th and 6th. In Needles, a stretch of 7 days had a low below 30 degrees starting on January 4th which tied for the 5th such longest stretch on record. In Arizona, Kingman recorded an all-time record of 4 consecutive days with a high temperature at or below freezing from the 3rd through the 6th. A low of 10 degrees was recorded at Kingman on January 6th.
January 1-11, 1974 This cold snap featured two periods of extremely cold air, one from the 2nd through the 4th that impacted the entire area and a second from the 9th through the 11th which was more pronounced in the Owens Valley. Both cold spells were ushered in by storm systems, one which impacted the area from New Year's Eve into New Year's Day and a second which took place from January 4th through the 8th. Both of these storms produced accumulating snow in the lower desert elevations. Las Vegas recorded two consecutive days with a high temperature at or below freezing at McCarran Airport on the 2nd and 3rd. The lowest temperature at McCarran Airport was 12 degrees on the 3rd. The Sunrise Manor Neighborhood recorded a low of 8 degrees on both January 3rd and 4th. Other coldest lows during the first event in Nevada included -21 at Dyer on the 3rd, -14 degrees at Caliente on the 2nd, -3 at Pioche on the 2nd, 0 degrees at Desert National Wildlife Refuge on the 3rd and 16 degrees at Boulder City on the 3rd. In California on the 3rd, Baker dropped to 18 degrees, Death Valley recorded 22 degrees at Furnace Creek with 5 at the Wildrose Ranger Station and Twentynine Palms dropped to 13 degrees. In Arizona, Colorado City and Pipe Spring National Monument had their coldest morning on the 2nd with lows of -2 and -5 recorded respectively. During the second event, Bishop dropped to -7 on the 10th which set an all-time record low for January, while Independence recorded a low of 3 degrees on the 11th.
January 26 through February 5, 1979 This cold snap was historic for the combination of bitter cold and heavy snow it brought to the lower elevations of the Mojave Desert. Although this cold snap began on January 26th, it was not until a storm system on January 28th moved away that temperatures really tumbled. The system that moved through on the 28th brought measurable snow to the valley floors of the Mojave Desert which was still in place on the morning of the 29th. At Kingman, Arizona an all-time record low of 4 degrees was set. Las Vegas dipped to 17 degrees at McCarran International Airport. Other coldest lows on January 29th included -13 at Caliente, 8 at Silver Peak, 9 at Searchlight, 10 at Beatty and Spring Mountain Ranch State Park and 17 at Pahrump. On the 30th Spring Valley State Park dropped to -28 and Pipe Spring National Monument recorded an all-time record January low of -12. An even stronger storm affected the area from January 29th through February 2nd bringing more low elevation snow. The biggest impacts during this entire stretch of weather were to travel as numerous accidents took place. Merchants reported an increase in the sale of chains.
January 6-10, 1982 This was a significant cold snap in the southern Great Basin. Bishop dropped to -7 on the 7th which tied the all-time record low for January for this location last set in 1974. Fresh snow had recently fallen in the area on the 4th and 5th of January.
December 25-31, 1988 A cold storm system brought significant snow to the southern Great Basin and even produced snow in the valleys of the Mojave Desert from Christmas Eve into Christmas Day of 1988. Behind this storm the combination of fresh snow on the ground and extremely cold air helped temperatures to plunge to extremely low readings. Bishop set an all-time record low of -8 on the 27th. In Las Vegas, McCarran International Airport dropped to 19 degrees. Other coldest lows included -32 at Spring Valley State Park on the 29th, -8 at Dyer on the 28th, -7 at Pipe Spring National Monument on the 27th, -5 at Colorado City on the 27th and 29th, 5 at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park on the 29th, 15 at Trona on the 27th, 19 at Baker on the 29th and 25 at Furnace Creek in Death Valley on the 31st.
February 5-8, 1989 The most significant February cold snap in modern times in this area took place during a four day period in Febraury 1989. The cold air arrived behind a system that brought precipitation to the area on February 4th. At McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas an all-time February record low of 16 degrees was recorded on the 7th. On the 6th, a high of 34 degrees at McCarran set an all-time record for the coldest high temperature ever recorded in February in Las Vegas. Nevada Power issued a plea in Las Vegas for the first time since World War II for power to be conserved after 34,000 customers lost service after a combination of mechanical and weather-related problems. In some cases, a boiler control and a panel that helped supply power froze. The Las Vegas Valley Water District reported over 1,400 calls from homeowners who had broken or frozen water pipes. The coldest lows recorded during this event included -33 at Spring Valley State Park, -23 at Dyer and 6 at Pahrump on the 7th, -19 at Caliente, -13 at Goldfield, -8 at Pioche, -3 at Colorado City, 12 at Kingman, 16 at Boulder City and 24 at Needles on the 6th. Laughlin recorded 24 degrees on the 7th and 8th.
December 21, 1990 through January 1, 1991 The most significant Arctic outbreak in modern times in the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin arrived just in time for the Christmas season and lasted through New Year's. In Las Vegas the high temperature remained below 40 degrees for four consecutive days which tied the all-time record for December. 14 days in a row recorded lows at or below freezing at McCarran International Airport, a mark not rivaled since. A total of 4 consecutive days featured lows that dropped into the teens at McCarran Airport from the 22nd through 25th, the coldest which was 11 degrees on the 23rd. The 23rd was the coldest morning valley-wide and in nearby areas. Other lows that morning included 3 at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park (an all-time record low for this location), 8 in North Las Vegas, 9 at Boulder City (an all-time record low for this location) and 13 at Nellis Air Force Base. The severe cold froze or burst thousands of pipes across the Las Vegas Valley. Some homes and businesses flooded as a result of the burst pipes. Las Vegas Fire Department dispatchers averaged 400 calls a day about flooding from burst pipes. Several car washes had to close after their pipes froze. Stores experienced a run on heat tape and foam insulation. Widespread damage took place to decorative landscaping across the Las Vegas Valley, including many palm trees which froze to death even on The Strip. Fountains at Strip casinos also froze as did the water in the volcano in front of the Mirage. Homeless shelters were crowded. In Arizona, Kingman recorded an all-time record December low of 5 degrees on the 23rd. Natural gas delivery in Kingman was slowed and many homes in this area had no water for a few days. Other locations setting all-time record lows during this event for any month included -38 at Spring Valley State Park (set on the 22nd), -18 at Mt Charleston (set on the 22nd), -8 at Bishop (on the 22nd which tied the previous record set in December 1988), -2 at Pahrump (set on the 23rd), 7 at the Barstow-Daggett Airport (on the 23rd), 10 at Twentynine Palms (on the 23rd), 12 at Valley of Fire State Park (set on the 23rd) and 22 at Laughlin (set on the 24th). Coldest lows included -18 at Caliente (on the 22nd and 23rd), -15 at Dyer (on the 24th) and -13 at Pipe Spring National Monument (on the 23rd).
December 21-25, 1998 A short-lived cold snap caused significant damage in the Las Vegas Valley. The low temperature dropped into the 20s each day from the 21st through 24th at McCarran International Airport, with the coldest reading of 20 degrees recorded on the 22nd. Widespread damage took place to plants and sprinkler systems in the Las Vegas Valley. Lawn and garden shops had difficulty keeping replacement parts in stock. In Bishop, a low of 1 degree was reported on the 22nd. Firefighters here responded to many calls from water damage due to pipes that burst.
January 29, 2002 through February 4, 2002 This cold snap produced 5 days in a row with low temperatures at or below freezing at McCarran International Airport from January 31st through February 4th. The coldest low was 23 degrees on Janaury 23rd at McCarran Airport. Fountains froze in Las Vegas and numerous plants suffered from the cold.
January 12-18, 2007 McCarran Airport recorded 7 consecutive days with low temperatures below freezing. The coldest low was 23 degrees on the 14th. The North Las Vegas Airport dropped to 21 degrees that morning while Spring Mountain State Park bottomed out at 9 degrees. Other coldest lows included 9 degrees at the Kingman Airport on the 14th, 11 at Pahrump on the 14th and 15th, 14 degrees at the Barstow-Daggett Airport on the 15th, 24 at Death Valley and Needles on the 14th and Lake Havasu City on the 15th. The cold burst hundreds of pipes in the Las Vegas Valley causing significant damage.
December 31, 2010 through January 3, 2011 A strong cold front brought very cold temperatures to the Mojave Desert over New Year's weekend. The high tempertaure on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas was 38 degrees, which set a record for the coldest high temperature ever on this date. The following morning and to a lesser extent on the 2nd and 3rd of January, subreezing temperatures caused extensive damage to components of several thousand residential pools, including pressure vacuum breakers and anti-siphon valves. Total damages were estimated at 1.5 million dollars. Lows on New Year's Day morning in Las Vegas ranged from 18 degrees in Mountain's Edge to 30 in downtown Las Vegas. McCarran International Airport dropped to 27 degrees. Other coldest lows that morning included -27 at Spring Valley State Park and Yellow John Mountain and -13 at Islen.
February 2-3, 2011 Subfreezing temperatures gripped the Las Vegas Valley for the better part of two days. The cold damaged components of several thousand residential pools, especially pressure vacuum breakers and anti-siphon valves with damages estimated at 2 million dollars. Lows in the Las Vegas Valley ranged from 16 degrees in Mountain's Edge to 30 in downtown Las Vegas on the 2nd, with a low of 26 at McCarran International Airport. At Wikieup, Arizona on the 3rd, a low of 8 degrees was recorded which set an all-time record low for any month.
January 12-16, 2013 A significant cold snap affected the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin for 4 days. Low temperatures dropped as low as 17 degrees in outlying areas of the Las Vegas Valley. Numerous pipes burst in homes and businesses in the Las Vegas Valley, Pahrump, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Kingman and Lake Havasu City. Some of the pipes were in the attics of homes in Lake Havasu City, which resulted in water damage to the homes. The entire water system of one hotel froze in Kingman. In the Las Vegas Valley, numerous pressure vacuum breakers also broke. A wellhead also broke in Pahrump. Total damages across the entire area are estimated at 6.17 million dollars, with 5 million dollars in damages estimated in the Las Vegas Valley.

 


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