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Head for high ground to see white Christmas

For those dreaming of a white Christmas, there are things you’ll need to know.

The vivid images from Irving Berlin’s 1942 holiday classic may come to life in some parts of the Las Vegas Valley today, but others are likely to find themselves in the midst of a blustery, wet holiday.

The National Weather Service in Las Vegas predicted 12 to 16 inches of snow will fall at Mount Charleston and flurries may reach the higher elevated areas of Summerlin.

Vehicles headed up Mount Charleston will be required to have four-wheel drive or snow chains, authorities said Wednesday. Motorists without snow tires may be turned away.

For the rest of the valley, cooler temperatures, wind and rain are expected. A wind advisory has been issued for the Las Vegas Valley through Friday for winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour.

The rain will mark the first time in five years that Las Vegas had a soggy Christmas.

Even rarer is the occurrence of snow on Dec. 25. Traces of snow have only been reported twice since 1937, the year the weather service began recording conditions in Las Vegas, weather service meteorologist Andrew Gorelow said.

Las Vegas police urged everyone to check highway signs on state Routes 156 and 157 for updated information, warning of gridlock and limited parking atop the mountain.

Crews at the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort are ready for the influx of visitors and welcome the snow.

“Ski conditions here are fabulous,” said Craig Baldwin, resort base operations manager. “The thing is, that if people are going to visit the Spring Mountains, they need to be prepared to drive in winter weather conditions.”

Baldwin said the resort is working with the Nevada Department of Transportation to ensure roads are safe for visitors. The parking areas will be clear and a shuttling system will be running to accommodate visitors.

Temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to upper-40s today.

A cold snap will bring chillier temperatures over the weekend.

Contact reporter Maggie Lillis at mlillis@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279.

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