If the weather in the Las Vegas Valley plans to follow its typical patterns, February should shape up to be much wetter than the first month of the year.
As of 9:30 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service has measured no rain during the month of January. It was a shock to the valley after above average rainfall amounts throughout 2019, including the just under an inch of precipitation that fell during December.
A rainless January isn’t out of the ordinary, but February is historically the valley’s wettest month, meteorologist Chris Outler said.
“That’s kind of when the jet stream takes its most southerly track,” he said, adding that February is when more storm systems tend to head toward Southern Nevada.
Jet streams are narrow bands of strong winds that flow through the upper atmosphere. They’re strongest during winter months — and can blow wetter or colder weather patterns into the Mojave Desert.
On average, February has a total of 0.76 of an inch of rain the in the valley, Outler said. And despite a cold snap that is expected for the first week of the month, the coldest days should be behind Las Vegas.
“Usually December and early January are the coldest because that’s when the days are the shortest,” he said.
The first day of February has an expected high of 70 degrees, followed by a high of 74 on Sunday.
Temperatures are then expected to drop drastically to a high of 50 on Monday with partly cloudy skies, Outler said.
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch for Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon. Wind speeds of 30-40 mph are in the forecast, with gusts up to 60 mph possible Sunday afternoon and evening.
“Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines,” according to the National Weather Service’s alert. “Widespread power outages are possible. Travel could be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Temporary outdoor structures, such as tents, could be blown away.”
Tuesday has a forecast high of 49, followed by a slightly warmer expected high of 54 on Wednesday.
Overnight lows through the weekend will be in the mid 40s before dropping to the low 30s through Tuesday night, Outler said.
Much like January, no rain is in the forecast for the first few days of February.