High wind warning issued for Las Vegas Valley

Strong wind gusts and swirling dust blew through the valley Tuesday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a wind advisory.

Wind speeds hit 52 mph at Red Rock Canyon, 45 mph at North Las Vegas Airport and 43 mph at McCarran International Airport late Tuesday. But there were no reports of property damage or major flight delays, according to the weather service in Las Vegas.

A high-wind warning also was issued for elevations above 3,500 feet and remained in effect until 8 a.m. today . The warning means a hazardous high-wind event is expected or occurring with wind speeds of at least 40 mph and gusts of at least 58 mph, which can lead to property damage.

Weather officials warned that driver visibility might be reduced at times by blowing dust, and strong crosswinds could interfere with vehicle control.

Wind gusts should cool off temperatures for the rest of the week, with highs from the low to mid-60s starting Thursday, the National Weather Service said. There is a 20 percent chance for rain today and a slightly higher chance Thursday.

Despite the windy conditions, Southern Nevada’s beloved tortoise officially emerged from his burrow to proclaim spring’s arrival.

Mojave Max awoke from his months-long slumber around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, said officials at the Clark County Desert Conservation Program.

“Ground temperatures have been getting warmer, there’s more sunlight, flowers are blooming, and all of this has an effect on the tortoise,” said Christina Gibson, the program’s public information officer. “This is the earliest in the day he has come out. There were pretty strong winds in combination with other factors that made him come out.”

Warmer temperatures, daylight hours and an internal clock are factors known to contribute to the emergence of the “Champion of Weather,” Gibson added.

Contact Kristi Jourdan at kjourdan@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279. Reporter Lawrence Mower contributed to this report.

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