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Rare monsoon rain returns to much of Las Vegas Valley

Updated July 11, 2021 - 11:21 pm

Monsoon weather, something that has been mostly absent in recent Las Vegas summers, returned Sunday evening.

The result was rain over much of the Las Vegas Valley a day earlier than expected, says the National Weather Service.

Between .04 of an inch and .12 was recorded in an arc largely across the northwest side as of 10:40 p.m., said meteorologist Jenn Varian. Piccole Ranch received the higher amount.

“It will mostly push through the valley in the next hour and we’ll be done for tonight,” she said.

The rain dropped the temperature to 90 degrees after the high reached 114 before the precipitation.

“The reason things changed is storms last night in Arizona kicked up smoke and haze and that brought more moisture further into Nevada that we expected, as a result you are seeing monsoon action today,” Varian said. “We were expecting this on Monday evening.”

Before the evening rainfall, McCarran International Airport recorded a morning low of 94, the second hottest on record. A 95 is the hottest morning low ever reached, once on July 1, 2013 and the other on July 19, 2005.

At 10 p.m., weather service radar showed light to medium rain across much of the valley with more intense rain in the mountains to the east of the valley.

Social media postings showed rainfall from Summerlin to Centennial Hills to The Lakes.

The high winds and possible showers come at the end of a weekend when Las Vegas matched its highest temperature on record. But daily highs should drop to the mid-100s by midweek, according to the weather service.

McCarran, where the weather service takes official readings, topped out at 114 degrees Sunday. Meteorologist Dan Berc said dust and clouds kicked up by neighboring storms kept the temperature a few degrees lower than Saturday’s high of 117, which tied the Las Vegas record.

Death Valley National Park, which rose to 129 on Saturday, reached 128 on Sunday.

An excessive heat warning for the Las Vegas Valley is scheduled to expire at 8 p.m. Monday.

Berc said there’s a chance of monsoonal showers and thunderstorms early this week, with a 20 percent chance on Monday and Tuesday and a 15 percent chance on Wednesday.

Monday has a forecast high of 113, which is expected to drop to 109 on Tuesday and 106 for Wednesday through Saturday, Berc said. The early rainfall and expected similar conditions on Monday will likely drop the forecast high duriung the overnight hours.

Early-morning lows will be near 90 degrees to start the week.


The Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross has shared the following reminders during times of excessive heat:

Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.

Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat, and take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.

Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, spend much of their time alone or are more likely to be affected by the heat.

Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

Cooling stations open

Daytime cooling stations will be open through Monday. They include:

Walnut Recreation Center, 3075 N. Walnut Road (south of East Cheyenne Avenue), Las Vegas; 702-455-8402, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday

Pearson Community Center, 1625 W. Carey Ave. (west of North Martin Luther King Boulevard), Las Vegas; 702-455-1220; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday

Downtown Recreation Center, 105 W. Basic Road (east of Pacific Avenue), Henderson; 702-267-4040; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday

Catholic Charities, 1511 Las Vegas Blvd. North (near Foremaster Lane), Las Vegas; 702-385-2662; noon-3 p.m. daily

Hollywood Recreation Center, 1650 S. Hollywood Blvd. (north of American Beauty Avenue), Las Vegas; 702-455-0566; 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday

Cambridge Recreation Center, 3930 Cambridge St. (north of East Flamingo Road), Las Vegas; 702-455-7169; 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday

Whitney Recreation Center, 5712 E. Missouri Ave., (south of Tropicana Avenue and west of Boulder Highway), Las Vegas; 702-455-7576; 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday

Downtown Senior Center (age 50+), 27 E. Texas Ave. (near East Army Street), Henderson; 702-267-4150; noon-3 p.m.

Courtyard Homeless Resource Center, 1401 Las Vegas Blvd. North (enter at 310 Foremaster Lane), Las Vegas; 702-229-6117; 24 hours all days.

— American Legion Richard Springston Post 60, 1510 Bruce Woodbury Drive, Laughlin; 702-299-1510; 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on days with temperatures more than 112 degrees. An outside cooling area will be open for pets on a leash or in a carrier, but no pets will be allowed inside the building.

— Colorado River Food Bank, 240 Laughlin Civic Drive, Laughlin, 89029; 702-298-9220; 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m., Monday-Friday.

— The Senior Center of Boulder City offers an air-conditioned place for older residents, 813 Arizona St.; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com. Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writers Alexis Ford, Katelyn Newberg and Sabrina Schnur contributed to this report.

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