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Summer sizzle: Temperatures rise, records fall in Las Vegas

Updated July 14, 2021 - 6:31 am

Remember that weekend in late May when it snowed on Mount Charleston and Las Vegas saw highs in the low 70s?

Yeah, it felt nice. Since then, it’s been all uphill, as in, nothing but head-scorching heat. Hopefully, this week’s monsoonal rains will make those record-breaking temperatures a distant memory.

Here’s a breakdown of how the heat has gripped the valley in the last two months (note: the Las Vegas office of the National Weather Service uses McCarran International Airport as its official recording station.)


— Last Saturday, for the fifth time in its history, Las Vegas tied its all-time high temperature of 117 degrees. The other four times: 2017, 2013, 2005 and 1942.

— Last Friday, McCarran hit 116 degrees, surpassing the record for the date of 113 set on July 9, 1943.

— Last Thursday, Las Vegas set a July 8 heat record when McCarran reached 114, eclipsing the daily record high of 113 set in 2017.

For the month, the weather agency said Las Vegas had three record daily highs and two record warm lows.

Strangely, Sunday may have been this summer’s turning point. In a 24-hour period, Las Vegas went from record-breaking heat to record-breaking rainfall. McCarran registered 0.10 inches of rain Sunday night, the most rain the valley has received on July 11 since records began in in 1937.

Death Valley National Park in California also saw record-breaking heat in July, including 130 degrees last Saturday. But it fell short of its all-time high of 134 degrees set in 1913.


Don’t forget that this July heat didn’t come out of nowhere. It was pretty toasty last month too. It was the second-hottest June in Las Vegas, with records going back to 1937, the weather service said. The average temperature was 92.4 degrees, nearly 5 degrees above normal.

— On June 19, Las Vegas reached a high of 114, tying the record set in 1940.

— On June 17, McCarran saw 114, breaking the record of 113 set in 1940.

— The day before, on June 16, Las Vegas broke an 80-year-old record for its hottest June 16 with a reading of 116.

However, Las Vegas is not alone in suffering from the record-breaking temperatures this summer. The intense heat wave that hit the Pacific Northwest late last month may have caused hundreds of deaths. So much for heading to Seattle to cool off.

Where’s the good news in all this? Las Vegas won’t have to endure another 240-day drought like last year. That dry spell began April 20 and didn’t end until December 18. The high that day was 62. Aahh, if only “Christmas in July” applied to Las Vegas weather.

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