Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the sunniest cities not only in the United States but also worldwide. But what does it mean? How many sunny days in Las Vegas can you expect during a typical year? And how often does it rain given how much sun shines there? Let’s explore the climate of this hot, sunny city.
To create this article, I used climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Here’s the Number of Sunny Days in Las Vegas, Nevada
According to the NOAA, Harry Reid International Airport in Paradise, Nevada receives 3,825 sunshine hours a year. Located about 12 miles from downtown Las Vegas, it provides the most accurate information for average weather conditions in Las Vegas and the nearby areas.
Sunshine hours may be a little abstract so let’s see how these convert into the number of sunny days in Las Vegas (we can calculate them if we know the percentage of daylight hours that get sunshine):
|Month||Sunshine hours||Percent possible sunshine||Average sunny days|
According to this data, Las Vegas enjoys 312 sunny days per year. This number includes both partly sunny days as well as clear days. Consequently, Las Vegas is sunny 86% of the time and has only 53 cloudy days a year. Among the largest cities in the United States, it’s the second sunniest city after Phoenix, Arizona (more on Phoenix in this article).
The sunniest months in Las Vegas are May and June. They get 27-28 days of sun per month. But overall, the city’s extremely hot summers from May to October are the sunniest, getting between 26-28 sunny days. Unless you’re accustomed to heat and intense sun rays (and most people underestimate them), these are not the best months to visit Las Vegas. The average temperature reaches up to 105 °F during the day. Even at night, it’s still hot at up to 82 °F.
The difference between the sunniest months and the cloudiest months is small. The city’s mild winters do get less sunshine but it’s still a lot.
The least sunny month is February with 23 sunny days. The difference between the sunniest and least sunny months is not that big when we look at the number of days with sunshine. But it’s definitely noticeable if we look at the average temperature. In February, temperatures range from 44 °F in the early morning (the average low temperature) to 63 °F during the day.
Other than February, whichever month in Las Vegas you pick for your trip, you’ll always experience at least 24 days of sun (so at least 80% of the days will be sunny).
Sunshine Hours in Las Vegas Compared to Other Cities
Given that Las Vegas is one of the sunniest cities in the US and in the world, we already know that it’s much, much sunnier than most major US cities. It’s far above the national average. Whether it’s New York, Chicago, Houston, or Philadelphia, the Entertainment Capital of the World gets at least 1,000, and up to 1,500 more hours of sunshine.
It’s more interesting to see how much sunnier Las Vegas is compared to other top sunny cities in the US. We already know that Phoenix is sunnier. It gets 47 more hours of partly sunny or clear skies. How about other places with ample sunshine?
Here’s the comparison:
- Las Vegas is sunnier than Reno. Las Vegas gets 3,825 hours of sunshine while Reno gets 3,646.
- Las Vegas beats all major Californian cities. It has about 700 hours of sun more than San Francisco and San Diego. It also gets about 500 hours of sunshine more than Los Angeles. Out of the major cities in California, Sacramento is the closest to Las Vegas in terms of sunshine. Las Vegas has only a little over 100 hours of sun more.
- Las Vegas gets 19 hours of sunshine more than Tucson. It’s also sunnier than Flagstaff (by 350 hours). Lake Havasu City is sunnier, with 3,837 hours of sun (12 more than Las Vegas). And the sunniest of sunny cities, Yuma, has 190 hours of sunshine more.
- El Paso, nicknamed The Sun City, is just a little bit less sunny than Las Vegas. It gets 3,763 hours of sunshine. Amarillo and Lubbock, both known for their semi-arid climate, have over 400-500 fewer hours of sun than Las Vegas.
- Las Vegas is much sunnier than cities in New Mexico. Santa Fe gets 3,534 hours of sunshine, Albuquerque records 3,416, and Roswell 3,302.
- Las Vegas also beats the sunniest cities in Florida. Even Key West, with 3,404 hours of sunshine, still gets over 300 fewer hours of blue skies. Miami gets 3,154, meaning it has about 600 fewer hours of sun than Las Vegas.
How Many Days of Rain Does Las Vegas Get?
When you think of Las Vegas, it’s probably hard for you to imagine that the city gets any rain. But in fact, it does. Not much, but it does rain in Las Vegas.
Here’s how many days of rain you can expect in Las Vegas per year:
In total, Las Vegas records 26 days of rain a year. Even for the standards of the sunniest cities, that’s very little. Phoenix gets more rainy days than Las Vegas (33). Las Vegas records only 4.18 inches of rain annually. Rain is least likely in June while February records on average 4 days of rain.
Frequently Asked Questions
The city gets only 26 days of rain with no more than 4 days of rain in the rainiest month (February).
Las Vegas has mild winters. With the average high temperature reaching just 57-63 °F (57 °F on average in the coldest month in the winter), days are pleasantly cool. Nights can get cold, with the average low temperature dropping to just 40-44 °F. These average temperatures quickly turn to extreme heat with the arrival of summer months. Then, the average high temperature goes above 100 °F and average nights are still hot at around 80 °F.
Rain falls less often in Las Vegas which gets 26 days of rain compared to 33 in Phoenix.
Las Vegas enjoys sun 86% of the time. During the sunniest months sun shines about 90% of the time, guaranteeing as much vitamin D as you’d like.
Las Vegas is noticeably colder than Phoenix in the winter months (by up to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) and slightly cooler in the summer months (about 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the warmest month).
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