If you’re tired of the heat and looking for a cooler place to live, you might try Summerlin or even Anthem.
Heather Bruton-Berrey doesn’t switch on the air conditioner in her Summerlin home until June.
“We’ll have the windows and the doors open, and we’ll get a really good cross breeze,” she said. “It’s really nice.”
It’s cooler to live in the Western Las Vegas Valley — temperature-wise at least.
The Summerlin area’s westernmost reaches have averaged 87 degrees since summer began on June 21, according to commercial Internet weather service Weather Underground. In that same time frame, Valley View, a neighborhood and monitoring site just east of downtown Henderson, sizzled at 95 degrees.
While the west was the coolest and the east was the warmest, downtown Las Vegas and the Strip averaged 93 degrees.
Reid Wolcott, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, explained how the valley’s geographical layout can create a boiling day for an eastern resident and a delightful summer afternoon for someone in the west. It’s all determined by altitude.
“The Las Vegas Valley slopes from west to east in elevation — from roughly 3,300 feet in Summerlin to around 1,800 feet in the eastern valley,” he said. “That said, the cooler places to live will be located on the west side of the valley.”
Summer electric bills can rise depending on location. The monthly cost of electricity for an average one-story home in the Valley View neighborhood was $280 in summer 2014. The cost of power for a house of similar size in Summerlin was $130.
The highest residential section in the region — The Vistas development within Summerlin — lies west of the 215 Beltway along state Route 159. It sits at a 3,257-foot elevation.
That is where Bruton-Berrey has lived for eight years, often keeping her doors open to catch the breezes coming out of the nearby mountains.
“I actually like the heat, I just don’t like the super mega heat,” the yoga therapist said. “It’s a nice temperature most of the year.”
Calico Basin — a cluster of fewer than 30 homes about 5 miles west and nearly 500 feet higher — averaged 86 degrees.
Of course, there’s one local hot spot — or rather, cool spot — that makes even the freshest Vegas areas feel sweltering: Mount Charleston. Highs at its 8,000-foot elevation have not exceeded 85 degrees this summer. It has averaged 64 degrees since June 21.
High temperatures discourage some residents from heading out. Ruth Furman, who lives in Summerlin, arranges her outings around the heat.
“I try to plan my appointments better so I’m not out in the middle of the day as much, but sometimes I can’t avoid it,” she said.
The Anthem neighborhood near the mountains in Henderson stays cooler than the valley below. At an elevation of 2,736 feet, it has averaged 88 degrees this summer.
Andrea Behrens has had a taste of both sides. She has lived in Summerlin for eight years. Before that, she resided in west Henderson near the mountains.
Both places are blazing to her.
“I honestly don’t remember there being that much of a difference or it being that much cooler in Summerlin,” she said.
Whether an area is considered hot or not, Bruton-Berrey believes the west’s lower temperatures lift locals’ moods.
“I think people are not as cranky,” she said. “Physically, they’re not as uncomfortable because they’re not as overheated.”
This week will be scorching for everyone in the valley. The National Weather Service predicts Las Vegas highs in the low to mid-100s.
Sunscreen might not be a bad idea. Buying a place in Summerlin or even Anthem could work, too.
Contact May Ortega at email@example.com or 702-387-2908. Follow @MayVOrtega on Twitter.