Mother Nature delivered on the forecasters’ promises Monday, making the west end of the valley and beyond a snowy wonderland that brought joy to children and adults alike.
“I’m happy. The snow is great,” a smiling Eugene Mayorga, 34, said as he stopped his work truck to snap photos at a snow-covered athletic field in Summerlin.
The winter storm steadily dumped the fluffy wet flakes throughout the day, leaving several inches of snow across the western valley and more than a foot on Mount Charleston. The largest accumulation in the valley, between 4 and 5 inches, was reported at Thunder Basin Avenue in the far northwest part of city, said Brian Fuis, a spokesman for the National Weather Service.
Monday’s storm brought the first measurable snowfall in the valley since Dec. 30, 2003, although trace amounts fell on the Strip on Dec. 22, 2006, according to the weather service.
The O’Conner family was headed to Mount Charleston Monday afternoon to play in the snow. But when Corky and Wen-Li O’Conner saw the blanket of white at Willows Park, near Sahara Avenue and Town Center Drive, they decided their 4-year-old son Eamon wouldn’t know the difference.
“We thought about going away today, but it’s like a vacation here,” Wen-Li O’Conner said as she dodged snowballs being tossed by Eamon.
The snow fell on areas above 2,700 feet, the weather service said. Lower elevations throughout the valley saw rain or an icy mix of rain and snow, with several areas in the central valley seeing about a quarter-inch of rain.
Transportation officials reported no local road or highway closures because of the weather, but higher elevations, such as Mount Charleston’s roads and state Route 160 at Mountain Springs, required snow tires or chains.
In California, authorities closed Interstate 15 at the Cajon Pass because of snow.
Amid the wintry wonderland, Kai Yun pulled off the road in Summerlin so her 4-year-old son, Hunter, could traipse through the snow. It was only raining at their house in North Las Vegas, so when a girlfriend told Kai Yun about the snow, she bundled up her son and headed to whiter pastures.
Hunter walked to a small patch of grass, and his mom snapped pictures. She wanted him to build a snowman, but he refused.
“He said, ‘No. It’s too cold,’” Yun said.
At the Red Rock National Conservation Area overlook, a steady stream of snow-seekers pulled off to toss snowballs, build snowmen and enjoy the snowy scene.
For Jazmine Howard’s 23-month-old daughter, Janae , it was the first time in the snow.
“How often does it snow here in Las Vegas? You have to take the opportunity,” Howard said as her brother, Jermaine Stephens, peppered her with snowballs.
Dressed in a pink hooded coat, Janae was hesitant at first, telling her mom it was too cold. But before long, the toddler was following in her uncle’s footsteps, grabbing handfuls of snow in both hands and flinging them as far as she could.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Brian Haynes at email@example.com or 702-383-0281.
Snow day slideshow Snow day videoInteractive National Weather Service Google map showing snowfall reports at various locations (as of 3pm Monday)