What is the Weather like in Las Vegas in May? May is a BIG month in Las Vegas and the weather can really turn the heat up a notch from the mild Winters and hot Springs. While most of the country is finally emerging from the Winter into Spring, Vegas is hitting full-on Scorching Summer weather.
This combined with some of the biggest events of the year in the City, long holiday weekends, and big cultural events and Vegas ends up getting some of its highest visitor numbers of the year. We take a look at exactly what to expect from a May visit to Sin City, What the crowds are like, what to do, when to avoid, and what the weather gods might have in store for you during May.
What is the Weather like in Las Vegas in May?
May is pretty variable, it ranges from Hot to absolutely scorching! Finally, the nights are short enough that even the cool pre-dawn chill is but a distant memory. With this, temps just start to climb and climb and 90°F+ (30°C) highs are the norm. However, when heatwaves roll in temps can soar. Temperatures well in excess of 100°F (38°C) occur most years at one time or another during May. When the temperature gets this high doing almost anything is pretty uncomfortable!
What is it Like Visiting Las Vegas in May?
May is Hot and busy. When the needle is over 100°F (37°C) any form of physical exertion is difficult. Just walking down the strip will have you bucketing sweat and waiting for your Uber is hard work.
When things are REALLY hot even the pool offers little solace. Pool temps start creeping up to bathwater levels, and sitting in the sun for a few minutes will have you sweltering, and after a not-so-cooling dip, you will be a little better off, only now wet!
However, most of May is not this toasty and most of the month offers reasonable temps hovering around the ’90s. Still pretty warm but not meltingly so. May really is the month Vegas loses its winter shackles and the nights are only moderately cooler than the days.
On a personal note, for some reason we tend to visit in May more than any other time, we are not really sure why, it’s not intentional but just works out that way. And while it’s hot and busy we still love our May trips to Las Vegas.
What are Crowds like in May?
Around Cinco De Mayo and EDC/Memorial Day, Vegas is manic. Outside of these weekends, it’s busy but not horrifically so.
May sits around 2nd/3rd in the busiest month category with nearly 3.7milion visiting in 2019. However, a large chunk of this is for the EDC which sees 400,000 festival-goers hit the city along with large Memorial Weekend Crowds. Avoid this and the popular Cinco De Mayo celebration in early May and the City is not too busy.
Hotel Prices in May
It’s bad news really for May. The big weekends see prices soar and the general high occupancy levels mean May is not the best time for bagging deals. If you miss the big weekend you will find a quieter Vegas and bargains can be found. But on the whole, it’s an expensive month.
If you are finding prices really high on your proposed dates chances are a conference is in town (see below). Consider shifting dates and you may find prices plummet!
Will it Rain in Las Vegas in May?
May ranks as one of the driest months of the year, only June tops it for rainless days. If it rains more than twice during the month it’s a rare occurrence. Rain is around in the area and clouds do build around the Spring Mountains but on the whole these dry out before getting to the strip. If a rain cloud does get to the strip nothing more than a little shower will come of it and even then it often falls as Varga (evaporates before hitting the ground)
Rain comes when large weather systems push in and the rain is prolonged and heavy. These are infrequent but do occur. You might get a morning or afternoon of nasty rain which then pushed off, but it won’t last, and tomorrow will be sunny again!
How to cool off in the HEAT?
When it’s hot, even the pools don’t help that much, most people tell you to avoid alcohol (tricky in vegas) and avoid the midday sun. But when things get really hot, there really is only one option… Aircon!
Fortunately, Vegas runs on Aircon and every building maintains a perfect 70°F (21°C) year-round. So when it’s scorching outside head in. We find walking through cool casinos rather than along the scorching pavement a good way to navigate the strip. If you can’t avoid alcohol at least drink some non-alcoholic drinks as well to help stave off dehydration.
We love spending time by the pool but during the heat of a scorcher, it really is just too hot. We save pool time for mornings and late afternoon. The pool decks are quieter and the heat more manageable!
And remember this is only May, things are about to get a whole lot hotter!
What is there to do in Las Vegas in May?
Pretty much everything. Vegas is fully alive by May. While the temps mak hiking out in the Red Rock Canyon of Valley of Fire ard work, it is still, just, manageable on the cooler days. Heading out to the more distant parks is now more of an option as the winter snows have mostly melted.
Zion is fabulous in May and the Grand Canyon has thrown off its winter chill. Bryce Canyon is still cold at night but very pleasant during the days. Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Death Valley all come alive in the may heat.
Outdoor attractions are still definitely on during May but avoid being outside during the midday heat. This gives you loads of time to enjoy the indoor Museums and exhibitions that Las Vegas has to offer!
Really nothing is off the table and outdoor nightlife is now fully on the menu as evening temps are wonderful, most nights the needle drops back from the highs of the day, just enough to give you a breather from the heat
Events in Las Vegas in May
Cinco De Mayo – (May 5th) The City of Las Vegas really embraces this Mexican holiday and people of Hispanic descent flock to the City to celebrate the day. Expect the strip to be very busy and hotel prices somewhat n the high side. It is a really fun festival so we don’t necessarily advise avoiding this date, more something to be aware of, and get in evolved with!
Electric Daisy Carnival – (21-23 May) The EDC is a huge celebration of Dance Music. It is the largest Dance festival in the states and draws in giant name DJs ( Armin van Buuren, Calvin Harris, Diplo, Alesso, Martin Garrix, and many more…) The Festival takes over the Las Vegas Motor Speedway so on festival nights the strip is actually quite quiet. But Huge numbers of the 400,000+ festival-goers stay on the strip at some point. It’s fair to say this is a busy weekend and one of the reasons May has such strong visitor numbers.
Memorial Day – (25th May) The long memorial holiday coincides with EDC and as such this is a manic weekend!
Conventions in Las Vegas in May
There are several Conventions going on throughout may but by and large, you probably won’t notice them. If one is at a particular hotel it is likely that the hotel in question’s prices will be pretty steep and the Buffets and Casino floor busy, but outside of that hotel, the strip will be pretty normal.
Other Conventions (Las Vegas Convention Calendar) – find all the conventions booked in May here, but really there is nothing really of concern.
NOTE! – 2021 is proving to be an eventful year for Las Vegas. Many Conventions are being moved, either online, to a different date, or even out of state! It looks like 2021 could be an incredible year for finding Vegas nice and quiet, unfortunately!
Have Your Say:
Have you visited Las Vegas in May? Let us know what the weather treated you to during your Visit? Were you unlucky enough to catch some rare May rain (Been there!) or was it wall-to-wall sunshine? Did you catch a heatwave or were the temperatures more normal? Let us know how you got on in the comments below. If you have any questions again just fire away.