Let’s just say it was an interesting year.
From the National Weather Service office in Las Vegas:
… Top weather events of 2010 in the Mojave Desert and southern
From furious floods to significant snows 2010 brought a variety of
extreme and unusual weather to the Mojave Desert and southern Great
Basin. Listed below are the top 10 weather events for 2010 in
chronological order from the County warning and forecast area of the
National Weather Service office in Las Vegas.
1. Pacific pounding – January 17th through 23rd – a series of four
back-to-back storm systems pounded the area in rapid succession
during this seven day period producing significant precipitation
totals areawide. The precipitation was welcome following one of the
driest years on record. In Las Vegas a total of 1.70 inches of rain
fell which surpassed the 1.59 inches of precipitation that fell
during all of 2009. A storm total of 7.44 inches fell in the
community of Morongo Valley in California. Between 3 and 5 feet of
snow fell in the eastern slopes of the southern Sierra Nevada and
the Spring Mountains above 7000 feet. There was widespread flooding
of streets and low lying areas and numerous roads were washed out.
The highlight of this episode was the final storm which crossed the
area on the 21st and dropped barometers to all-time record lows. Las
Vegas recorded an all-time record low sea level pressure of 29.03
inches! In addition this intense storm triggered thunderstorms over
the Colorado River valley and southwestern and south-central Mohave
County with gusts of up to 101 mph measured in Kingman. The Big
Sandy river at Wikieup Arizona reached an all-time record crest of
17.9 feet. Snow levels plummeted with the final storm as it moved
across the area to around 3000 feet and as much as an inch of snow
accumulated in the Summerlin west neighborhood of Las Vegas.
2. Thundersnow and low elevation snow – March 8th and 9th – a strong
cold area of low pressure moved across southern Nevada from late on
the 8th into the morning of the 9th producing thundersnow across
Esmeralda and central Nye counties with snowfall rates of 1 to 2
inches an hour. 6 inches fell at Goldfield with a foot at Lida pass.
As the low moved southeastward it dropped snow as low as 1500 feet
in elevation at Shoshone California and although it did not stick
there it brought a March record of 2 inches to Pahrump Nevada.
Meadview Arizona measured 3 inches.
3. High wind event – April 27th and 28th – powerful winds around 60
mph blew across the area blowing over two semi trailer trucks in the
Owens Valley of California with one person being injured. As this
system moved across southern Nevada it generated gusts as high as 63
mph at McCarran Airport which was the second highest wind gust ever
recorded in April in Las Vegas. Numerous trees blew over in Las
Vegas… a small plane was flipped at the North Las Vegas Airport and
a carport was destroyed at a condominium complex in Summerlin.
4. May chill – consistent troughing in the upper levels of the
atmosphere over the region resulted in one of the coolest Mays on
record across the area. In California Bishop had their 4th coldest
may ever and Barstow-Daggett had their 8th coolest may ever. In Las
Vegas McCarran Airport recorded their 16th coldest may ever which
gave may 2010 the greatest departure below normal of any month in
Las Vegas since November of 2000. This was also only the third may
in the last 30 years in which Las Vegas did not record a low
temperature of 70 degrees or better.
5. Sin city sizzle of July 2010 – this July was the hottest month
ever in Las Vegas with an average temperature of 96.2 degrees. The
incredible warmth was due to two factors – the high temperature
reaching into the triple digits on every day – a feat only 9 months
ever in Las Vegas have reached since records started in 1937. Very
warm low temperatures were an even bigger factor with a record 6
days failing to drop below 90 degrees for a low including a stretch
of 5 in a row. The warmest low of the month was 93 degrees and the
hottest high 113 degrees.
6. Meadview thunderstorm – August 17th – on the afternoon of August
17th a severe thunderstorm developed right over the community of
Meadview Arizona producing 2.76 inches of rain in an hour. The
tremendous downpour resulted in flash flooding with water up to two
and a half feet deep flowing across roads and taking out signs and
shrubs. A roof was torn off a Mobile home by 60 mph wind gusts. Hail
up to dime size also accompanied the storm.
7. Thunderstorm outbreak of August 26th over Inyo and San Bernardino
counties in California – on the afternoon of the 26th thunderstorms
developed across every County of the Las Vegas County forecast and
warning area. However the most intense storms were over Inyo and San
Bernardino counties of California where several storms produced
flash flooding. Numerous parts of Death Valley National Park were
flooded out and roads were covered with water and rocks and flooding
also took place in Barstow. One thunderstorm developed over the
Clover fire burn area in the eastern southern Sierra Nevada
resulting in a debris flow that moved downhill and across Highway
395 near Dunmovin. One big rig was washed off the Road and into a
ditch and was damaged.
8. Double Trouble upper lows of October – October 3rd through 6th
and October 17th – 21st. Although two separate events these two lows
both resulted in an extremely wet month during what is typically one
of the quieter weather months of the year. More rain fell in the Las
Vegas Valley this month than during the entire 2010 monsoon season.
Both of these lows triggered thunderstorms and several of these
storms produced severe weather and flash flooding. On October 4th
one storm produced heavy rain near Callville Bay Nevada on Lake Mead
producing a 10 foot wall of water that caused major damages totaling
at least one million dollars to the Callville Bay Marina. The second
low produced an EF0 tornado in Kingman Arizona on the 18th. The
following day Barstow California was hit by severe thunderstorms not
once but twice in a span of about 8 hours with hail up to quarter
size accompanying both storms.
9. Lake Mead reaches lowest level since it was first filled –
October 17th. The combination of years of drought and increased
water demands resulted in Lake Mead dropping to the lowest level
since it was first filled. On October 17th the lake dropped to
1083.18 feet breaking the previous record of 1083.19 feet set on
April 26th 1956.
10. Permalow and the moist flow – December 17th through 23rd – an
almost permanent area of low pressure set up off the coast of the
Pacific northwest tapping into a moist flow originating from the
subtropics of the Pacific. This resulted in waves of energy crossing
the area producing precipitation that rivaled or exceed that of
January 2010. As much as 14 inches of precipitation fell in the
highest elevations with tremendous snowfall that crippled mountain
communities in the eastern southern Sierra and Spring Mountains. A
whopping 96 inches of snow fell at the Las Vegas ski and snowboard
resort with 41 inches at the Mt Charleston fire station while
Aspendell California measured 88.1 inches. The heavy snow snapped
trees and triggered extended power outages and inhibited access into
or out of mountain communities. A code red was declared by Inyo
County for Aspendell. Evacuations took place on Mt Charleston as the
snow triggered three avalanches. Lower elevations while spared the
snow were drenched with heavy rain that resulted in flash flooding
and river flooding. Extensive flash flooding took place in Valley of
Fire State Park in Nevada resulting in the park’s closure for nearly
two days and several roads were flooded by up to 3 feet of water in
the morongo basin of California. In California the Mojave river rose
in Barstow and Yermo resulting in flooding… 3 Swiftwater rescues
and a levee breach that flooded streets. The Virgin river in
Mesquite Nevada flooded a park and Golf course and surrounded homes.
The most dramatic event took place in Beaver Dam Arizona where the
Beaver Dam Wash swelled and undermined homes destroying six and
carrying one of the homes 200 yards until smashing it apart as it
hit some trees.
Have a safe and Happy 2011!!!