One of the fringe benefits of a trip to Las Vegas is the weather, at least most of the year. While the weather here is rarely 100 per cent idyllic, visitors can expect at least a few hours of pleasantly comfortable temperatures per day. Best of all, it hardly ever rains. This factor is a big bonus considering how much time visitors spend walking between casinos on the Strip or hanging out by their pools.
Despite being a pure desert environment, Vegas experiences very cold winters. From December through February, the daytime temperatures hover around 14°C. Since the sun reliably shines on nearly every winter day, you can expect a bit of solar warmth and comfortably get by with a sweater or light jacket. It may not be warm enough for the waters of the swimming pool but you can comfortably explore the Strip on foot.
The problem begins after dark. Once the sun goes down in the winter, the mercury plunges. Night-time temperatures stick just above freezing in December and January, and since desert nights are typically cool anyway, this nippy weather really stretches from October all the way through April. You will definitely need heavy jackets, scarves and hats if you plan to wander around the Strip after dark during the winter months.
Summers in Las Vegas are extreme at the other end of the spectrum ―wickedly dry and hot with a relentless sun that is almost too much to bear. While this may sound appealing if you come from a soggy corner of the planet like the UK, when the mercury peaks at 43°C, it only takes a half hour to get a nasty sunburn. Hanging out in the shade, however, makes a huge difference. Since the air is so dry in Vegas, there’s virtually no humidity and shady spots offer respite, even at noon.
The uncomfortably hot weather lasts from June through September, with daytime temperatures of around 40°C. On the plus side, this is the finest time of the year in Las Vegas after the sun goes down. With night temperatures running around 22°C all summer long, it’s simply wonderful to be outside after dark. This is the prime time to linger on the Strip until the wee hours.
In late July and August, the annual monsoon rolls into town, bringing welcome afternoon thunderstorms that rinse the dust off and provide a bit of natural drama. The rain is never an issue in Las Vegas, which makes monsoon season one of the nicer pockets of weather here. Since the summer and winter weather is so extreme, fewer visitors come to town at these times. This equates to lower room rates and airfares, significantly less crowds on the Strip and plenty of special package deals at the resorts.
The finest Las Vegas weather comes in the spring and autumn, when a mix of bright sunshine, perfect temperatures and seasonal shift come together in a symphony of pleasantness. Even the locals seem happier in April, when the mercury refuses to go much higher than 26°C and people begin to reclaim their spots by their favourite pools. May is also a great month to visit, with daytime temperatures pushing the 30°C mark and nights refreshingly cool.
Autumn is just as nice. October sees the return of daytime temperatures of under 30°C, with the mercury slowly dropping through November. It’s a brief window of ideal weather, and everyone knows it. This is why spring and autumn are the busiest times of year in Sin City. Everything is priced to the max, the Strip feels pretty congested and the attractions have long queues. But with such glorious weather, it may well be worth the extra hassle and cost.