Snowman pops up on Vegas Strip as city sees rare winter weather

Authorities closed sections of main routes outside the city due to poor weather conditions

Snow falls on the Luxor hotel and casino Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in Las Vegas. A winter storm is expected to drop up to 3 inches (8 centimeters) of snow on Las Vegas’ southern and western outskirts while other parts of the metro area will get rain mixed with snow. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Winter storms in the U.S. Southwest brought rare snowfall Thursday to the Las Vegas Strip, dusting casino marquees and prompting revelers to erect a snowman near the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.

The National Weather Service reported the first significant snowfall at McCarran International Airport in a decade with two centimetres falling by Thursday afternoon.

READ MORE: Kelowna determined to enjoy the snow

“We expected cold, but not snow,” tourist Lila de Guerrero said after taking a photo at the Las Vegas sign wearing a puffer coat and hat.

De Guerrero, who is visiting from El Salvador, said it was the first time she had ever seen snow.

German tourist Daniela Huber said she was surprised that her vacation to the desert wasn’t much of an escape from winter.

“We thought it was strange because we came from Germany, where it snows all the time,” she said.

Some suburban foothill areas near Las Vegas were pillowy white after getting several inches of snow. On the casino-lined Las Vegas Strip, the snow was fleeting, melting faster than a bad gamblers’ luck.

Outside the city, authorities closed portions of the main routes from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and Phoenix because of snow, ice and limited visibility.

About 50 miles of Interstate 15 closed from Primm, Nevada, to Baker, California.

The Nevada Department of Transportation reported a 22-mile line of cars and trucks backed up on U.S. 93 between Boulder City, Nevada, and Kingman, Arizona.

Snowstorms also blanketed other parts of the Southwest, further easing drought conditions while clogging traffic in California, and forcing the closure of Interstate 40 and an airport in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Barney Helmick, director of the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, said its only runway closed when the visibility level hit zero. Intense snow also forced the closure of schools and businesses in the region.

Snow coated large areas of the desert outside Los Angeles and left traffic stalled near Joshua Tree National Park. Wet weather this winter has almost washed drought conditions out of California, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

In Nevada, snow delayed flights at McCarran airport and traffic on highways.

“We don’t have snowplows,” airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said as she tallied about 100 flight cancellations because of snow and ice. “But we have airfield maintenance vehicles and sweepers ready to go.”

Some flight delays reached more than two hours, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Over 5 million of funding announced for Nuxalk Big House and CCRD parks project

The funding is joint federal, provincial and municipal and will support 24 infrastructure projects

DFO Monitors keeping watch as commercial fishery opens up

Volunteer DFO Monitors have been onsite to ensure requirements are met

Cariboo waterways swell as special weather statement, rain continues Thursday July 2

Quesnel River at Likely and Quesnel Lake seeing 20 to 50 year events

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Commercial fishery closed tonight due to local concerns

The fishery was supposed to open tonight

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read