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Las Vegas temperatures 10 degrees above average heading into weekend

Afternoon highs will be in the low 70s
NWS Las Vegas January temperatures.jpg
Posted at 11:00 AM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 15:02:44-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas is looking forward to a stretch of very mild weather (for January) later this week.

On Thursday, Friday and possibly Saturday the Las Vegas valley we'll enjoy afternoon highs in the low 70s. That's more than 10 degrees above average for this time of year and just shy of record temperature territory for those dates.

Forecast: 13 First Alert Weather

A ridge of high pressure is going to drift from the Pacific Ocean across California and drive the warm-up across Southern Nevada on Thursday and Friday. This large dome of dry, sinking air will ensure that the dry pattern continues.

It's possible that a weather disturbance moving from the Pacific Northwest to Colorado on Saturday could stir up north breezes and keep Las Vegas in the upper 60s, but even that forecast is well above average.

Thursday's forecast is 71 degrees and the record for Jan. 14 is 73 degrees set back in 1945.

Friday's forecast is 72 degrees and the record for that date is 73 degrees, also set in 1945.

Saturday's forecast is 70 degrees and the record for that date is 73 degrees set in 1976. The average high temperature in Las Vegas on those dates is 58 degrees, as measured from 1981-2010.

Interactive: 13 First Alert Weather Radar

The mild air will feel nice because it's been a typically cool start to the year. Highs at McCarran Airport have been in the 50s eight of the first 10 days this year.

Las Vegas has hit 70 degrees twice in December but finished the year with nine consecutive days with highs in the 50s (or colder).

Looking ahead, the warm-up should be temporary, as 60s are expected to return Sunday and early next week.

The mild stretch may have you curious about when Las Vegas typically sees warmer weather.

While highs in the upper 60s and low 70s are possible in the winter, we typically don't see 80-degree highs until mid-March (that's based on what happened between 1981-2010).

The earliest Las Vegas has hit 80 degrees was Feb. 1 in 2003 and the latest into the year it's happened was April 23 in 1941.