Local News


Will strong winds put a damper on fireworks?

Posted at 1:01 PM, Dec 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-31 16:01:31-05
New Year's Eve is a huge night for Las Vegas and one of the biggest things most people look forward to is the fireworks at midnight.
However, fireworks are completely dependent on weather conditions for them to launch safely and wind is the biggest factor.
Winds are not expected to be particularly strong on the surface around midnight in Las Vegas but different layers of the atmosphere can have completely different wind characteristics.
At street level, the strongest winds are expected down the Colorado River Valley where wind advisories are in effect including Lake Mead and extending south to Laughlin. There, winds are expected to gust to 40 mph.
In Las Vegas, the different layers will play very important roles with winds increasing rapidly with height. Surface winds likely won’t exceed 10 mph and will stay in the 5-10 mph range throughout the night.
That’s enough to notice a light breeze but not enough to change any fireworks displays.
At rooftop levels things will be very different as winds will likely be stronger, in the 15-25 mph range between 400-600 feet above the ground. Clark County
Fire officials say the show will go off without a hitch if the winds stay below 10 mph but they’ll likely have to make some very tough decisions overnight since measurements will be taken at the firing locations, all of which are on rooftops located 300 feet or more above the surface.
There will likely be some fireworks for New Years, but which ones have the best shot of being canceled?
Wind speeds will increase with height, so the taller the building the better the chance for cancelation.
All predictions are for fireworks shot off the highest roof of strip hotels.
Stratosphere: 1,150 feet tall, winds at firing level: 25+mph. Likely canceled
Aria: 600 feet tall, winds at firing level 20-30 mph. Cancelation very possible
Venetian: 475 feet tall, winds at firing level: 15-25 mph. Cancelation possible
Caesars Palace: 435 feet tall, winds at firing level: 10-20 mph. Cancelation possible
Planet Hollywood: 400 feet tall, winds at firing level: 10-20 mph. Cancelation possible
MGM Grand: 290 feet tall, winds at firing level: 5-15 mph. Cancelation unlikely
Treasure Island: 370 feet tall, winds at firing level: 10-20 mph. Cancelation possible.