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Cold front rattles valley into evening; airport delays top 2.5 hours

Updated October 22, 2022 - 9:13 pm

Gusting winds reached 65 mph at Red Rock Canyon on Saturday afternoon and stayed strong well into the evening.

“The window for the strongest winds is from 5 to about 7 p.m.,” said meteorologist John Adair, noting that gusts and sustained winds could increase through the afternoon.

The 65 mph gust was recorded at Red Rock around 1:34 p.m. Harry Reid International Airport had a gust of 52 mph shortly before 5 p.m. while Nellis Air Force Base topped out at 52 mph with more than a dozen such gusts during the afternoon and into the evening.

“We have sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph across the valley,” Adair said. “Nellis is a bit of an outlier with sustained winds of 44 mph.”

As of 9 p.m., winds were still from the southwest and gusts at the airport had exceeded 30 mph each hour since 9:25 a.m.

The weather service did not have reports of any damage, but most mountain ranges around the valley were obscured by dust early in the afternoon. Visibility at the Las Vegas airport was down to 3-5 miles most of the day.

Air quality ranged from moderate to hazardous in several central valley locations because of blowing particulate matter. Air quality was better toward the north and southeast sides of the valley.

The airport temperature had dropped to 66 by 11 p.m. Winds had slowed as the front appeared to arrive around midnight.

Delays at airport

Arrival delays that had been averaging 15 minutes or less were rising, with some arrivals delayed an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes minutes as of 11 p.m., according to a Federal Aviation Administration website.

Departures were averaging delays around 15 minutes as of 11 p.m.

Travelers were advised to contact their airlines.

Festival opener scrubbed

The winds also caused the first day of the When We Were Young music festival planned for the Las Vegas Festival Grounds to be called off.

Also, a beer festival scheduled for downtown was called off on Friday.

Take precautions

Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result, says the weather service.

Motorists should use extra caution when driving, especially when handling a high profile vehicle. Outdoor objects need to be secured.

Saturday night will bring a 20 percent chance of showers after 11 p.m. Patchy blowing dust could occur before midnight. The night will be partly cloudy with a Sunday morning low around 55.

Sunday will be sunny with a high near 67. The Monday morning low could be near 48.

Highs early next week will be around 70 with lows in the upper 40s.

Dust advisory

The Clark County Department of Environment and Sustainability issued a dust advisory for Saturday to advise residents and construction sites of possible elevated levels of blowing dust because of the forecast of high winds.

Airborne dust is a form of air pollution called particulate matter or PM, which aggravates respiratory diseases. Under windy conditions people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children may feel better staying indoors as much as possible because they could be at greater risk from particulates, especially when they are physically active, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Consult your physician if you have a medical condition that makes you sensitive to air pollution.

Planned outage on Mount Charleston

Nearly 500 customers will be without power part of the weekend in Kyle Canyon as NV Energy conducts an planned outage because of high winds.

A Public Safety Outage Management (PSOM) will affect about 470 customers when power is turned off in the Kyle Canyon and Angel Peak zones on Saturday starting between 7 and 11 a.m. and lasting until Sunday at 10 a.m., said the utility.

The outage is designed to prevent electricity from transmission lines from starting fires.

NV Energy will provide a customer resource center at The Retreat at Charleston Peak, 2755 Kyle Canyon Road. It will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or until power is restored.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com. Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter.

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