Weather

In a state as large as Nevada, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that regional temperatures and weather patterns are as diverse as the landscape. Rainfall can vary from just a few inches in one region to over 40 inches in another. Temperature swings can be just as dramatic, with early morning and afternoon temperatures varying by as much as 50º – in the same day!

Most of the state sits in a geographical formation with hundreds of small, parallel mountain ranges broken up by numerous desert valleys, a feature known as the Great Basin. This formation, along with both the towering Sierra Nevada, an enormous mountain range that looms along Nevada’s western edge and effectively blocks most moisture from descending into the valleys beyond, and blistering Death Valley, which plunges to 240 feet below sea level at its lowest valley and reaches over 6,000 feet in the mountains, plays a significant role in earning Nevada’s distinction as the driest state in the nation. But don’t let that fool you.

In northwestern Nevada, cities like Reno, Sparks and Carson City enjoy four distinct seasons with winter months seeing snow that gets quite heavy in the mountains. Still, this part of the state has more than 300 days of sunshine annually. Early spring brings limited rainfall and summer days are sunny with average highs in the 90s, while autumn means warm days with cooling temperatures overnight. In nearby Lake Tahoe, summer temperatures run a good 10º cooler, while winter sees an average of 18 to 20 feet of snow.

Farther east, in places like Ely and Elko, year round temperatures tend to be cooler. Summer months are pleasant, in the upper 80s, while winter is long, snowy and quite cold, not typically exceeding 40º. Heading into north-central Nevada and towns like Fallon, Austin and Eureka, average temperatures drop again. Cold winters see typical temperatures in the 30s, while the mild summers range in the 70s and 80s. Weather patterns are similar in central Nevada in towns like Tonopah, but move into the southern end of the state and things change yet again.

Temperatures in southern Nevada run an average of 25 degrees higher than up north. Cities like Las Vegas, Boulder City and Henderson begin to heat up quickly in early spring, with temperatures reaching the 100s usually by May. Winters are typically mild, with daytime temperatures hovering in the 50s and 60s.

Nevada Average Temperatures

 
JANUARY
 
APRIL
 
JULY
 
OCTOBER
 
Max.
Min.
 
Max.
Min.
 
Max.
Min.
 
Max.
Min.
Elko
36
10
 
59
28
 
91
49
 
66
28
Ely
38
9
 
57
27
 
86
48
 
64
29
Hawthorne
48
22
 
68
36
 
95
49
 
73
44
Lake Tahoe
41
24
 
54
30
 
82
49
 
62
37
Las Vegas
57
31
 
79
50
 
105
73
 
82
52
Laughlin
62
41
 
84
56
 
109
80
 
89
60
Reno
44
19
 
64
31
 
90
49
 
70
32
Tonopah
40
20
 
62
36
 
89
59
 
78
40

*Temperatures in Fahrenheit