The climate of Nevada
climate is mainly of arid and semi-arid types (Köppen climate classification BWh/BWk, BSh/ BSk), with hot summers and cold winters. Nevada lies in the Western United States and is the driest state in the union. California in the west, Oregon in the northwest, Idaho in the northeast, Utah in the east, and Arizona in the southeast, share borders with the state. The Pacific Ocean and the desert regions in the south influence the dry climate of the state.
Nevada, the Silver State, is mostly arid, with an average elevation of 1608 meters and highest of 4401 meters at Boundary Peak. The geography consists of desert lands and semi-arid regions of the Great Basin. The Mojave Desert is in the south, while the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe lie in on the western boundary. The southern portion has flat terrain and receives less rain. Mountain ranges above the desert plains consist of lush forests. The Snake River's tributaries drain the north, while the Colorado River drains the southern portion of the state. The Sierra Nevada is home to several rivers, including the Carson, Truckee, and Walker rivers. The vegetation is of alpine and sub-alpine types in the high mountains.
Summers are severely hot and dry in Nevada, with the difference between day and night temperatures, often exceeding 40°F (4.4°C). Day highs frequently stay above the 100°F (37.8°C) mark from June
and even top 120°F (48.9°C). Winters are long and cold in the north but short and mild in the south. Daytime highs average a comfortable 57°F (13.9°C) in Las Vegas at the peak of winter, while the nights are above freezing at 38°F (3.3°C). Spring is warm, while the autumn has pleasant conditions. Winter minimum temperatures register in the 15°F (-9.4°C) to 20°F (-6.7°C) range in the plains, and temperatures below 0°F (-17.8°C) seldom last for more than a few days.
The annual rainfall is scarce and hardly averages 7" (178mm) in Nevada, with the majority of the precipitation on the leeward side of the Sierra Nevada. The average precipitation ranges from 5" (127mm) in the south to 12" (305mm) in the north. Western and south-central portions record maximum precipitation in the winter, central, and northeast in the spring and eastern during the summer. Snowfall is heavy between 20" (508mm) in the central and 30" (762mm) in the northern regions, while the south receives occasional light outbursts. Humidity rarely exceeds 60% throughout the year. The freeze-free season ranges from 70 days in the extreme north to 225 days in the south. Nevada receives ample sunshine of 3300 hours over the year.
Laughlin recorded the highest ever temperature of 125°F (51.7°C) on June 29, 1994, in Nevada, while San Jacinto recorded the coldest temperature of -52°F (-46.7°C) in the winter of 1972.
The best time to visit Nevada
The best time to visit Nevada
is in the shoulder seasons from March
. The spring is cooler than the summer, which tends to be severely hot and uncomfortable in much of the state. The fall season brings color to the landscape and is calmer than the spring and summer. Thunderstorms are frequent in late spring and summer, while mid-summer to early fall experiences tornadoes. The diurnal temperature range is the shortest during April
, which makes the conditions comfortable.
The worst time to visit Nevada
The worst time to visit Nevada
is during the winter as the state experiences cold weather with occasional extreme temperatures. Although extended periods of frigid weather are rare due to high mountain ranges in the north and east, arctic masses spill through them to produce cold waves. Low temperatures drop below freezing in many parts, and sometimes even below 0°F (-17.8°C). The scanty rainfall is responsible for creating cold deserts in much of Nevada. The north and central regions are susceptible to heavy snowfall, particularly in the high mountains. Snowfall over 45" (1143mm) is possible in twenty-four hours, and amounts over 330" (8382mm) in the winter are not rare. However, the cold season is to the liking of snow lovers who find joy in sports like skiing and hunting.
is vulnerable to thunderstorms, droughts, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and tornadoes in late spring and summer. The plains witness flooding in spring and summer due to the melting of snow and rain from thunderstorms, with the Nevada Floods of 2013 as a notable example. Cloudbursts may bring more rain in a few hours than the entire season. The dry conditions and scanty rainfall are responsible for severe wildfires at the peak of the summer in much of the state. Nevada also experiences frequent earthquakes of low intensity below 3.5 on the Richter scale. Wind speeds are high across the vast plains with the lack of high mountain ranges to provide natural barriers. Pacific storms occasionally bring heavy snow in the winter.
Weather in January
is the snowiest month of the year in Nevada
with 3" (76mm) to 12" (305mm) of snow. The northern and central regions contribute most of the snowfall, while the south hardly sees any. The average high temperatures are between 36°F (2.2°C) to 65°F (18.3°C), while the average low temperatures are in the 9°F (-12.8°C) to 43°F (6.1°C) range. Weather in January »
Weather in February
is chilly in the winter season in Nevada
with a moderate amount of snowfall. Great Basin National Park in central Nevada receives substantial snowfall over 23" (584mm). Day temperatures are between 41°F (5°C) to 69°F (20.6°C), but nights are bitterly cold in the 12°F (-11.1°C) to 46°F (7.8°C) zone. Weather in February »
Weather in March
has cold nights in Nevada
at the beginning of the spring season. Day highs are usually in the 48°F (8.9°C) to 77°F (25°C) range, while nightly lows are between 20°F (-6.7°C) to 50°F (10°C). Early spring often sees cold temperatures in the range of 20°F (-6.7°C) to 48°F (8.9°C) in Mountain City in the north. Weather in March »
Weather in April
brings warm temperatures to Nevada
with much of the land freeze-free by the middle of the spring season. A few areas in the north and central zones receive 2" (51mm) to 4" (102mm) of snow. The average high temperatures are in the warm 55°F (12.8°C) to 86°F (30°C), while nights are between a cold 36°F (2.2°C) to mild 56°F (13.3°C) statewide. Weather in April »
Weather in May
is a beautifully warm and sunny month in Nevada
with clear skies and rarely any snow. The average high temperatures are in the warm 64°F (17.8°C) to hot 96°F (35.6°C) range, while the average low temperatures are in the mild 31°F (-0.6°C) to warm 65°F (18.3°C) zone. Weather in May »
Weather in June
is the beginning of the hot summer season in Nevada
with a negligible amount of rain. Average high temperatures are in the hot range of 74°F (23.3°C) to 105°F (40.6°C), while the average low temperatures are in the mild 37°F (2.8°C) to warm 75°F (23.9°C) range. Weather in June »
Weather in July
is usually the hottest month of the year in Nevada
with the sun scorching the arid landscape. The average high temperatures are in the blistering 85°F (29.4°C) to 110°F (43.3°C) range, but night temperatures drop drastically between 40°F (4.4°C) to 80°F (26.7°C). Weather in July »
Weather in August
is hot and dry in the summer of Nevada
with day temperatures in the 82°F (27.8°C) to 108°F (42.2°C) range. Nights are between 38°F (3.3°C) to 79°F (26.1°C), with the low end in the alpine zone of the high mountains. Weather in August »
Weather in September
begins the autumn season in Nevada
in the second half of the month. The sunshine lasts for 9 hours a day, and the highlands see a change in colors. The average high temperatures in early autumn are in the warm 75°F (23.9°C) to 102°F (38.9°C) range, and the average low temperatures are in the mild 31°F (-0.6°C) to 71°F (21.7°C) range. Weather in September »
Weather in October
is the driest month of the year in Nevada
as the autumn season progresses rapidly. The average high temperatures tend to be pleasant in the day in the 63°F (17.2°C) to 88°F (31.1°C) range but the nights tend to be cold with the average low temperatures in the 23°F (-5°C) to 60°F (15.6°C) zone. Although much of the land is arid, the highlands lie in the sub-alpine and alpine zone and display beautiful hues of orange, crimson, purple, yellow, and gold. Weather in October »
Weather in November
ends the autumn season in Nevada
with a significant drop in temperatures in the state. The average high temperatures are in the cold 47°F (8.3°C) to warm 74°F (23.3°C), while the average low temperatures drop well below the freezing range in many places and are between 15°F (-9.4°C) to 48°F (8.9°C). Weather in November »
Weather in December
is the coldest month of the year in Nevada
, with the average high temperatures in the 37°F (2.8°C) to 63°F (17.2°C) range and the average low temperatures in the chilling 8°F (-13.3°C) to 40°F (4.4°C) zone. Precipitation is low, but measurable snowfall in the range of 4" (102mm) to 8" (203mm) occurs in the northern mountains. Weather in December »