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July 22, 2014

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Record stretch of rainy days might continue today

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Steve Marcus

A car drives through storm runoff on El Capitan Way near Flamingo Road Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013.

Updated Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 | 12:40 a.m.

Valley Rainstorm

Rain obscures a driver's view at the 215 Beltway and Green Valley Parkway, Sept. 11, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Las Vegas and the region keep expecting a break from a record-setting monsoon season, which may begin today, as forecasters are predicting a 20 percent chance of showers after a previous evening of heavy downpours.

Various parts of the valley felt the effects of a powerful rainstorm Wednesday night that flooded city streets and made driving hazardous amid a National Weather Service flood advisory.

Rainfall totals were highest about 7 p.m. on the eastern edge of the valley near Wetlands Park, peaking at about 1/2 inch. One car was stuck in 2 to 3 feet of water on a flooded entrance ramp to Interstate 95 from Tropicana Avenue about 6:20 p.m., forecaster Mike Kennedy said.

The advisory was in effect for much of the evening, lasting through 7:45 p.m. Scattered showers were expected to continue through the night, though without the punch of initial downpours.

Mark Severts with NV Energy said that no reports of significant weather-related outages had been reported to the electricity provider as of late Wednesday.

Chris Stachelski, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said Wednesday marked the 20th consecutive day in which at least a trace of rain had been recorded somewhere in the Las Vegas Valley or its immediate surrounding area.

That nearly three-week stretch of rainy days far exceeds the previous record of 12 straight days of rain, in both 1967 and 1998.

“This weekend will be first fully dry weekend since Aug. 10 and 11, which is pretty remarkable,” Stachelski said.

But before the weekend arrives, Las Vegas residents should expect a chance of showers and thunderstorms today.

“As we move into (Thursday), we should start to get drier air,” Stachelski said, noting some areas — especially the northern portion of the Las Vegas Valley — could see precipitation Thursday.

He listed the chance of rain at 20 percent today.

The official precipitation total for this year’s monsoon season is .067 of an inch, as measured at the NWS station at McCarran International Airport. That’s well below any record, Stachelski said, but some places in the valley – Henderson in the southeast, Aliante in the north and Summerlin in the northwest – have received upwards of 2 inches of rain.

Stachelski said Sept. 30 marked the official end of monsoon season. In recent years, he said, monsoonlike weather usually ends around Sept. 10-15.

In another weather note, the Las Vegas NWS reported a temperature reading of 69 degrees around 5 a.m. Wednesday at McCarran. It marked the first time in a record 106 days – since May 28 – that the mercury had dropped below 70 degrees. The previous record for consecutive days at or above 70 degrees was 99 days, June 10 through Sept. 16, 2007.

The National Weather Service’s official records for Las Vegas date to 1937.

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