Published Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 | 2 a.m.
Updated Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 | 9:18 a.m.
Snow flurries in Summerlin and up to 10 inches in the mountains this morning ushered in a new month and winter-like conditions. There was also a report of flurries in Henderson’s Anthem neighborhood.
Chris Stachelski, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Las Vegas, said the snowflakes appeared about 8 a.m. in the western valley.
“It was just a brief mix of rain and snow,” he said.
But don’t expect any of the white stuff to stick in the valley. Precipitation later today mostly will consist of rain before tapering off overnight and Friday morning, Stachelski said.
It’s a different story, however, at the higher elevations.
The Spring Mountains, which include Mount Charleston, have received 5 to 10 inches of snowfall so far, Stachelski said. Snow accumulations could reach 2 feet by the end of the storm, he said.
The National Weather Service said the strong winds will create difficult travel conditions and that blowing dust could reduce visibility.
Drivers of motorcycles, vans, campers, trailers and any high-profile vehicle should be alert to the danger of the high winds and use extra caution, the weather service said.
Loose object left outside might be blown away, including Christmas decorations. Trees and power lines might be blown down and property damage is possible, forecasters said.
High winds that roared into the Las Vegas Valley Wednesday evening temporarily knocked out power to nearly 5,000 NV Energy customers.
Boaters in the area should use extreme caution or avoid venturing onto area lakes, forecasters said.
“The high wind warning will remain in effect into Thursday evening,” said KSNV-TV meteorologist Kevin Janison. “The strongest winds could occur late morning, and gusts in the 60 mph neighborhood are possible.”
The other issue with the powerful Dec. 1 storm system is precipitation, Janison said.
“A winter storm warning is in effect for our mountains, where up to 14 inches of snow could fall at the higher elevations,” he said. “More rain is expected in the lower elevations. However, if there is enough left-over moisture when the core of the cold air arrives late Thursday night/Friday morning, there could be flakes flying in the foothills, around the edges of the Las Vegas Valley.”
He said afternoon highs will struggle to reach the mid 50s.
The National Weather Service predicts that locations such as Summerlin, the Lakes, Anthem, Seven Hills and Mountains Edge will have the best potential to see snow.
The weather service said if the precipitation falls heavy enough when temperatures are cold enough, as much as an inch of snow might accumulate in the Las Vegas Valley on unpaved surfaces, especially in areas at or above elevations of 3,000 feet.
This morning’s low at McCarran International Airport was expected to be 48 degrees. The normal low for today's date is 41 degrees. The record low was 26 degrees, set in 1957.
Temperatures at McCarran were to rise today to 50 degrees by 9 a.m., to 53 degrees by noon and reach a high of 54 degrees by 3 p.m., forecasters said. The normal high for today's date is 59 degrees and the record high was 74 degrees, set in 1940.
Temperatures are expected to drop to 50 degrees by 6 p.m., to 46 degrees by 9 p.m. and to 43 degrees by midnight, forecasters said.
Friday's morning low will be 40 degrees and Friday's high will climb to 53 degrees, they said.