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NOAA releases new climate data reflecting warmer conditions in Las Vegas

Posted at 1:37 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 17:10:04-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — New climate normals have been released by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

When meteorologists talk about the weather on 13 Action News they often compare the forecast to the average. Now, the team will reference a new data set of what's "normal" using observations from 1991 to 2020, instead of the old data set from 1981 to 2010.

These decade updates (similar to the Census) are in accordance with the World Meteorological Organization.

Five of the hottest years on record in Las Vegas have happened since 2010.

Current records date back to 1937. Seven of the hottest years on record around the globe have been recorded in the last decade.

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Given the warmth, it makes sense that average temperatures have risen now that the climate data set includes the 2010s.

In Las Vegas, the average annual high temperature climbs from 80.1° degrees to 80.5 degrees with the new data set.

The hottest average high temperature in Las Vegas hasn't changed in the 1991-2010 data set, but it will occur more frequently.

Instead of expecting 105 degrees from July 13-25, as based on observations from 1981 to 2010, we'll now expect 105 degrees from July 10-31.

The average annual low temperature climbs from 58.7 degrees to 59.6 degrees in Las Vegas with the 1991-2020 data set. The warmest overnight low temperature used to be 82 degrees from July 19-26. Now, it will be 83 degrees from July 17-31.

For what it's worth, the "normal" or "average" temperature doesn't have an impact on how meteorologists forecast the weather for Southern Nevada. But the data serves as an interesting comparison to what the expected weather can be like across a given week, or month, or season.

If you're curious, the new data set of "normals" will have minimal impact on rainfall in Las Vegas.

The average annual rainfall from 1981-2010 was 4.19 inches and the new data set from 1991-2020 has only changed by 0.01 inches - dropping to 4.18" across the year.

And Las Vegas remains the driest large city in the country.

Read all about the new data set and explore the numbers by visiting the NOAA website here.

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