25th July 2001, 1600 BST
Love Las Vegas
Hot weather is
a good bet in Las Vegas
the Land of Excess, Las Vegas must be the most excessive city of them
It may be tacky, tawdry, and sleazy but, for a few days at least,
it can be a great place for some fun and a little flutter in the casinos
which define this city of over one million inhabitants.
The weather in Vegas is as extreme as the city itself. It lies in
the middle of the Nevada Desert so summertime temperatures can reach
as high as 46 Celsius (115F).
More typically, temperatures during the summer months reach between
37 and 39 Celsius (99 to 103F), but with low relative humidity these
temperatures are not as uncomfortable as one might imagine.
For many, these
temperatures are an irrelevance, as every automobile and building
are air conditioned.
Vegas: Even better than the real thing?
Few venture around the city on foot but for those who are so inclined,
temperatures are generally much more comfortable between late October
and April when maxima are generally between 18 and 25 Celsius (64
From late autumn until the end of spring night-time temperatures can
fall quite low.
Clear skies, low humidities and sandy soils can result in temperatures
falling well below freezing (The lowest temperature ever recorded
was Minus 9 Celsius).
Rainfall is very low throughout the year, with no more than two wet
days per month, even in the middle of winter.
Sunshine averages eight hours per day even in the middle of winter.
This rises to 12 or 13 hours in the summer months.
Surprising, then, that there is hardly a solar panel in sight. Instead
power comes from hydro-electric power at the Hoover Dam.
So the traveller will need to cover up to avoid the risk of severe
This risk is accentuated by fairly strong winds which blow across
this exposed city throughout the year.
In the summer months hot dry winds can blow in from the Mojave Desert
and the unwary can burn in a very short period.