Storm brings snow flurries to Las Vegas Strip

By Cristina Silva

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Jan. 3 2011 11:41 a.m. MST

LAS VEGAS — A winter storm brought snow flurries to the Las Vegas Strip on Monday, a dusting of white to northwest Las Vegas neighborhoods, and several inches of snow to the Pahrump area of Nevada's Nye County, officials said.

"You don't come to Las Vegas and think, 'Hey, it's going to snow,'" Josh Hansen said as he and four friends posed amid flurries next to the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign. "It's really weird."

Hansen, 22, said the group planned to head home to Los Angeles after spending the New Year's weekend in Las Vegas.

Fog clouded the scene around them, and traffic was sparse on wet streets as only a few tourists and casino workers confronted the morning with umbrellas and snow jackets.

Temperatures remained in the mid- and upper-30s during a snow squall that brought flurries to most of the Las Vegas valley but no accumulation near resort hotels and casinos, National Weather Service meteorologist John Adair said.

Snow flurries typically fall in Las Vegas several times a year. A trace of snow was recorded Monday at the weather service official measuring station at McCarran International Airport just off the Las Vegas Strip.

Adair said foothills neighborhoods several miles west of the Strip area got one or more inches of snow in grassy and vacant desert areas.

Some residents built snowmen and sent photos to be posted by Las Vegas television stations.

Adair said up to 6 inches of snow fell overnight in Pahrump, a high desert community about 60 miles west of Las Vegas.

Schools were closed in southern Nye County, and State Route 160 between Las Vegas and Pahrump was closed for a time due to a crash west of the hamlet of Mountain Springs.

The federal Bureau of Land Management closed the 13-Mile Scenic Drive at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area due to snow. But the visitor center remained open, along with Red Spring and an overlook picnic area on state Route 159.

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