Everyone knows Las Vegas is HOT. It’s built in the middle of a desert so its bound to be pretty toasty, right? Well yes, of course, but it’s more than just baking heat all the time. In this post, we will explore the question, What is the Weather like in Las Vegas Nevada, and help you decide what is the best time of year to visit Las Vegas for You?
We all know Vegas is built in a desert and we are taught from very early on that deserts are hot. Images of camels and scorpions, mirages and people dying of thirst (that won’t happen in Vegas). But the truth is not all deserts are hot, some are mind-numbingly cold (the Antarctic and Arctic are the worlds 2 biggest). The defining characteristic of a desert is the lack of rain. So what kind of desert is the Vegas desert?
Well, it’s the Mojave Desert for starters, and the truth is, during the summer it’s an absolute scorcher. Day and night the Temperatures are very high. See the graphs below. It’s located only a few miles from death valley, which ranks as one of the hottest places on earth, and while Vegas isn’t quite on par with there, it’s not always too far off!
In winter things get quite a bit cooler. The thing about deserts is there is no rain, so no cloud as these cause rain. This means there is very little to block the suns heat out. But conversely, there is very little to keep it in either. So in winter when the nights are long and the days short all the day’s warmth simply seeps away into the night’s sky making Vegas really quite nippy.
Of course, Vegas has Micro Climates…of sorts. Outside the temperatures will be fairly uniform, but inside everything is closely monitored and controlled. Casinos are always cool in summer and warm in winter. Vegas is the Air-con Capital of the world (well apart from maybe Dubai). It’s not very environmentally friendly but any time spent in a casino will be comfortable…If not you might leave!
A quick look at the average Temperatures shows what we are talking about. Of course, it should be noted these are averages (even high/low) and actual temps can be A LOT higher. We have witnessed 110DegF/44DegC in MAY and the highest recorded temperature was 117degF/48DegC and that was on June 21st, 2017! Albeit a tie with 1942.
Late May-early October
Summer is HOT. No, it’s really hot. We love hot weather and before experiencing a Vegas heatwave we never found anything temperature-wise that we found too uncomfortable. Even Cyprus when it was so hot Kate’s Books melted (did you know a book can melt?). But Vegas at 40+ DegC / 100DegF was incredibly uncomfortable pretty much all the time. Even just sitting by the pool in the shade was unbearable, and the pools provided little relief as they were surprisingly warm themselves.
Really the only relief comes from the copious amounts of Air Conditioning. All you need to escape the heat is to head inside. Just about every building is fully Air-conditioned so escaping the heat is no problem. With so many of Vegas’s attractions indoors, a great time will still be had in summer and indeed these are some of the peak months. Really the only hardship is walking between the hotels in the heat.
Nighttime brings very little relief, while it does cool down, it never feels like much. But any thoughts of long hot uncomfortable nights this sort of weather can bring can be forgotten. Your Hotel room will be a fantastic temperature for sleeping.
Summers in Vegas are also long. Things really heat up by the end of May and stay hot well into October. Being a desert, rain is rare. However, it’s not completely dry in the Mojave even in summer. Expect any rain to be in the form of Storms. Heavy and short-lived. Flash flooding can be an issue outside of the city but it’s of little concern to anyone staying on the strip. Other than dodging a drenching that is.
Temperatures this high are not guaranteed. It’s very unlikely not to be in the 32DegC+ 90DegF+ range. But those sorts of temps are manageable, especially by a pool. But It is certainly advisable to Expect the temps to be creeping up to 40DegC+ 105DegF+ which are less manageable, during a heatwave or the hottest parts of the summer.
Clothing wise, wear as little as possible!
The Sun is STRONG, and burning is very easy, however, we found heat exhaustion drove us out of the sun before it was a huge issue, but always take care in the sun, cancer is never any fun.
December – February
Winters are unexpectedly cool in the Mojave. Especially at night. There is even the chance of a frost come morning on the coldest of nights. Clear skies during the day will still allow temps to get up to quite reasonable temps. But it’s not going to be sunbathing weather.
Like summer though, the Vegas hotels ensure anywhere inside is at a perfect temp so any indoor activities are unaffected. Rain is more frequent but again it’s a rare occurrence … Else it wouldn’t be a dessert right! Expect fewer storms and lighter, drizzlier days. Only expect rain on a handful of days though.
We would always suggest packing far more substantial clothes in the winter months than you might expect. Layering is the order of the day. The temperature range during the day can be quite severe and vary significantly from indoors too. So you want to be able to add and remove layers as required.
Vegas is usually quieter during the winter months, it certainly doesn’t shut down though. Visitor numbers remain high nearly all year round staying above 3million monthly, warmer months just see a slight peak up towards the 4million mark.
March – Early May
Spring and Autumn are not really distinct seasons but more transitional periods as winter becomes summer.
During the Spring the weather progressively gets warmer as the days march on. By the end of May, Summer is in full swing and heat waves can strike, triggering dangerously hot periods. April is about the most agreeable time and the weather is very warm but still bearable. But any time in Spring will be a fantastic time to visit.
Rain is also very rare, even for Vegas so expect beautiful clear skies for much of spring and if you get a rainy day, know that someone upstairs hates you!
October – November
Autumn is very much like spring only in reverse. The only major difference is the increased frequency of rain, Still very infrequent but it does rain much more reliably in Autumn than Spring. Expect temps tailing off as the days draw in until they are quite cool by the end of November.
There is a bit of a myth about a pool season in Vegas. There is no set date where hotels open/close their pools and in fact, most will keep one open year-round. The pool season myth really stems from the pool PARTY season. Where hotels Hire Big name DJ’s to play at huge outdoor pool parties. These tend to kick off around mid-march and tail off September, early October.
There is no hard and fast rule though check out any parties that you think you want to attend for their opening/closing times
As for the actual pools, Hotels will normally open up as the weather improves. So if the weather is good for pool time, the chances are your hotel will have something on offer. They really do aim to please. Anytime between the end of March and the end of October is a good bet for pool weather.
So when the thermometer does blow its top off and it really is unthinkably hot what can you do? Well, the obvious choice is to stay inside. The temperature-controlled oasis of the Casino’s is mighty tempting. But If you have come to Vegas to see more than a Blackjack Table that is not an option, well not all the time.
Pools – While a refreshing dip in the pool may seem a great way to cool off, the extreme heat in Vegas means this isn’t always the case. The pool water is actually quite warm and doesn’t provide quite the relief we expect. Upon returning to the sun lounger the effect wears of rather fast and then you are just hot and wet which is doubly uncomfortable. The only option is simply floating about in the water, but this has its limits as you begin to “prune up”.
Drinks – Of course, an icy cold beverage will cool you down no end. The only downside is the Price’s charged for poolside drinks is rather steep. Most hotels also have a policy of not bringing your own drinks too. But you can get around that! Away from the pools and things get a lot better, Strip convenience stores will sell you an ice-cold beverage at competitive prices. And being Vegas its no issue simply walking out the store and crack it open, even if it’s alcoholic. You can even walk right into a Casino with it!
Fans – We have tried these portable little fans out while in hot places and TBH they are pretty pleasant. While in the scorching heat of Vegas they may do little to bring your core temp down as they simply blow hot air about, but they do provide a little relief. UK Amazon – US Amazon
Rat Runs – When Walking the Strip it’s often possible to head into a casino at one end and exit at the other covering a large part of the Strip in air-conditioned bliss. Be careful not to get lost though, Casinos can be intentionally Maze like.
Best time to Visit
There really isn’t a bad time to visit, depending on what you want to do. Vegas is such a diverse town there is always something going on and something to do. Unless you are coming for the pool scene in which case Winter is a no-no, then really you will have a blast any time of the year. The unbearable summer heat is actually very bearable thanks to endless Air conditioning. But the spring is probably the best, with autumn narrowly following behind. But Vegas really is a year-round City!
Have Your Say?
What time of year did you visit Vegas? was it too hot? Too Cold? or just right? Have you got any more cooling tips for us? Just drop us a comment and please ask away with any questions you may have.