How Offen Does It Rain in Las Vegas?

Rain in Las Vegas is as uncommon as snow is, but at least it must happen unlike snow. The degree of rain in Vegas is pretty low. Most of the precipitation in the city comes in Spring and some in Summer. Winter receives the least amount of rain, and as of fact, it is the driest season in Vegas.

How Many Days a Year Does It Rain in Vegas?

Las Vegas Raining
Source: @raf_alan

Geographically, Vegas is not strategically placed to have rains. It is surrounded by a mountainous rocky west side that makes it impossibly hard for winds to blow. And as you may already know, wind is a great contributor to where the rain forms and falls. Plus, the Mojave Desert climate is not welcoming to rains.

Back to the question: how many days does it rain in Vegas? Out of the 2 months in a year. Las Vegas has a little less than a month (26 days) of rain. These are distributed across the months, with February having the largest share of humidity. Below is an illustrative display of the monthly distribution for rainy days in Vegas.

Monthly Rainy Days per Month
January 3.1
February 4
March 2.9
April 1.6
May 1.2
June 0.6
July 2.5
August 2.6
September 1.6
October 1.7
November 1.7
December 3

It can last months since Vegas received rains. The longest period recorded was in 2020 where it lasted 240 days without a drop of rain, breaking the previous records of 2018 and 1944. Thankfully, December 17 2020 saw rains averaging 0.3 inches of reindeer rain falling to quench the dry earth of Nevada. Other dry records were from September 13 2017 to January 8 2018 with 116 days without rain, and from another period in 1994 when rain was absent for 101 days.

Average Temperatures in Vegas

Below is a table showing the average monthly temperature variations recorded over the years from it you can easily tell that Vegas is not a rain haven. Vegas receives about 5 inches of precipitation yearly, which is pretty low compared to the average annual rain in the US of 38 inches. Las Vegas has the lowest rains and snow, amounting to less than an inch.

Month Average Low Temperatures Average High Temperatures
January 39°F or 4°C 58°F or 14°C
February 41°F or 5°C 61°F or 16°C
March 49°F or 9°C 71°F or 22°C
April 55°F or 13°C 77°F or 25°C
May 66°F or 19°C 91°F or 32°C
June 74°F or 23°C 100°F or 38°C
July 81°F or 27°C 105°F or 41°C
August 78°F or 26°C 102°F or 39°C
September 71°F or 22°C 95°F or 35°C
October 59°F or 15°C 82°F or 28°C
November 46°F or 8°C 66°F or 19°C
December 39°F or 4°C 57°F or 14°C

It will not be a strange sight for it to start shining and then two hours later it rains. The rain is unpredictable going for hours or dropping off as soon as it hits. Most of the time it will not be heavy rains that prevent movement, just mild falls. However, do not be tricked by this to think that Vegas has no big rains. There have been reports of huge rains, with floods on the roads making it impassable! There is water in the desert after all.

Which Are the Wettest Months in Vegas?

Below is a monthly precipitation chart, showing how much rain the Metrology department reports for Nevada, Las Vegas inclusive, does receive annually on average. It is clearly visible that the area has minimal rains, and measurement falls to less than an inch monthly. This, as described by the weatherman, is immeasurable amounts-anything less than an inch is low.

Month Inches
January 0.48
February 0.8
March 0.42
April 0.28
May 0.21
June 0.12
July 0.35
August 0.38
September 0.28
October 0.21
November 0.43
December 0.49

From the above table, the wettest months in Vegas are December, January and February with 0.49, 0.48, and 0.8 inches of rain respectively. February receives the most rain, with 3 to 4 days -4.6 days to be exact-of substantial rains falling. This is relatively high compared with the average 1-2 days of rain in other months from March to November.

What about the driest month? Vegas is in a dry environment, so expect most months to be without rain. Also, its placement in the desert means more sunlight than in most cities, Vegas having an upper of 86% of the days in a year warm. July is the driest and hottest month with temperatures of up to 105 degrees Faraday (100F). May up to August are the hottest months, averaging temperatures of between 65 F-105 F.

Why Does Vegas Receive So Little Rain?

For this, you will have to learn a little bit about geography and rainfall patterns. Calm down, you will not visit your high school library, no. Read on to get a whim of what it is all about. Why does Vegas despite be a pretty moderate altitude palace surrounded by mountains, why does it not rain?

Probably you may have guessed it is because of the desert situation, right? Well, a desert is not primarily responsible for the dryness of the area. The dryness and the mountainous topography are the lead acts in the rain pattern in the valley. That makes Vegas a Rain Shadow Desert.

Rain Shadow Effect
Rain Shadow Effect [Source]
The mountainous side of Nevada is between the valley city and the Pacific Ocean. Winds full of moisture ascend from the sea towards the city, but are countered by the mountain ridge. The rain shadow effect happens when the wet winds hit the ridge and elevate to flow over and towards the city.

In doing so, the elevated air moisture condenses to form rain clouds that cause rain on the Windward side of the mountain. Whatever little moisture makes it to the Leeward side and to the city atmosphere which is not enough to make rain clouds. It gets evaporated by the hungry dry hot air hovering above the city.

Monsoon Season in Vegas

There are times when the rains falling over the Vegas area become more in a phenomenon known as Monsoon. This happens when the heavy moisture filled winds from the ocean (leeward side) retain enough moisture content after hitting the mountainside. These winds bombard the hot desert air over the city and the resort is a thunderstorm. The rains are characterised by heavy rains, thunder and lightning. They last only a few hours on the higher end.

The danger with monsoon storm is that you are not ready for them, so they can trap you if you are not careful. So, what should you do when the monsoon thunderstorm hits? Here are a few tricks to navigate this incident:

  • If you are hiking or desert driving, keep an eye at the skies for any changes. Formation of dark clouds is an indicator of the rains to come shortly. There may be dark clouds and it will not rain, but better be safe than sorry.
  • If you are caught in a storm outdoors, try as much as possible to stay clear of level and low grounds as they are highly susceptible to flooding.
  • Avoid driving during the heavy rains, or through the floods. Usually, the drain is as fast as they build so wait up before going for a drive.
  • Never drive through an intersection during heavy rains or when it is flooded. The water can cause accidents leading to fatal injuries. If you are caught by the storm, park safely and wait for the rains to subside.

Is It Worth Visiting Vegas During the Rainy Season?

Visiting Vegas anytime during the year is always eventful. You can never lack something interesting to do in the city so yes you can still enjoy your Christmas and new year celebrations in the city. Most outdoor activities are closed in the winter like the Bellagio fountain show. But there are a host of other activities and fun things to do indoors.

  • Grab a ticket to see a show in Vegas. The city has many comedy shows, magic shows, concerts, etc.
  • Looking for more adrenaline? Try one of the night clubs in the city for an exhilarating music experience. You can be sure that you are not needing a warm coat as you rock to the beat of famous celebrity music.
  • Visit museums and parks like the shark reef.
  • Visit a casino, or the many restaurants parked with celebrity chefs.
  • Go see a movie at the many classy movie theatres in the city and its environs. You will experience the fully immersive Dolby Atmos, D-BOX and other advanced state of the art tech to make your movie going epic.

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Vegas and rain are not two very commonly used words. Why? Because rain is not frequent here with only 26 days of rain and a whooping 300 sun days. Rainfall in Las Vegas is experienced in December, January and February with February having the most rainfall at 0.8 inches. Overall, Vegas rain is subtle, unless it is the monsoon season.