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Snow could dust Las Vegas Valley early Tuesday

Updated January 25, 2021 - 10:39 pm

Scattered snow could dust the Las Vegas Valley early Tuesday, a day after flurries fell in the surrounding mountains and foothills.

Parts of Summerlin and the Anthem area in Henderson saw snowflakes late Monday morning, but they didn’t stick, residents reported. By 11:15 a.m. a steady, persistent rainfall was drizzling over parts of the Las Vegas Valley.

The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area was blanketed in white Monday afternoon. The park’s Scenic Drive was shut down to traffic about 1 p.m., and it remained unclear if the road would reopen early Tuesday, depending on ice and snow conditions.

Beyond the valley border, the wintry weather Monday forced the Nevada Highway Patrol to close Interstate 15 in both directions near Primm from about 11:40 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Trooper Travis Smaka said.

There is a good chance that continued precipitation early Tuesday could cause more traffic headaches on the I-15 thoroughfare, officials said.

Winter weather advisory

Monday’s precipitation started around 2 a.m. Most of the valley saw about 0.08 inch of rain during a six-hour time frame, while spots in Henderson got as much as 0.25, the National Weather Service said.

The Strip could see “a few snowflakes” early Tuesday, but they likely won’t stick, meteorologist Andy Gorelow said. The best chance for snow in the central valley is from about midnight to 6 a.m.

Temperatures are expected to climb a few degrees throughout the week, Gorelow said. Tuesday’s expected high is 49 degrees, followed by multiple days in the low 50s. Friday has a 60 percent chance of rain as another storm system rolls through the valley, Gorelow said, but any moisture should clear up by the weekend.

A winter weather advisory is in place for the valley through 10 a.m. Tuesday, and a winter weather warning is in place for higher elevations, including Mount Charleston, for the same time frame.

As of early Monday afternoon, Mount Charleston had received 7 inches of snow. Gorelow said he wouldn’t be able to give an updated snowfall measurement until Tuesday morning.

Blustery snow at Red Rock Canyon around the same time led to a treacherous four-hour rescue of an injured hiker. Due to low visibility during the “white-out” storm, Las Vegas Fire Department rescue crews had to hike up to a 300-foot ledge instead of using a helicopter, spokesman Tim Szymanski said.

Late Monday, a few Summerlin residents had sent the local weather service office photos of light snowfall, but again none was sticking, Gorelow said. The weather service also received a 9:30 p.m. call reporting about an inch of snow accumulating in Pahrump.

Road restrictions

Before sunrise, state Route 160 was briefly closed at state Route 159 near Mountain Springs because of snow and icy road conditions. Motorists were advised to use extreme caution late Monday and early Tuesday.

As of about noon, chains or snow tires were required on Lee Canyon, Kyle Canyon and Deer Creek roads in the Mount Charleston area. Nevada Highway Patrol troopers and Las Vegas police were enforcing the requirement, turning many drivers away. The same requirements were expected through Tuesday.

No significant weather-related road incidents were reported on valley highways Monday, Las Vegas police said. Still, the rain was a cause for caution — and celebration.

“Everybody wants to know when it is going to snow, but the rain is really needed since it has been dry for so long,” meteorologist Kate Guillet said.

Contact Alexis Ford at aford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexisdford on Twitter. Contact Glenn Puit at gpuit@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0390. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Marvin Clemons contributed to this report.

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