Las Vegas gets record snowfall, 3.6 inches

December 18, 2008

Nevada (ChattahBox) — A rare pre-winter storm Wednesday and early Thursday, brought Las Vegas its heaviest snowfall in nearly three decades, canceling all flights in and out of the city, snarling traffic and dusting palm trees and marquees along the Las Vegas Strip.

The storm also dumped snow on top of rain on much of southern California and parts of Nevada outside Las Vegas.

The National Weather Service measured 3.6 inches of snow overnight at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.

The snow Wednesday prompted the cancellation of all flights in and out of Vegas. Snow piled up around the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign on the south end of the Strip, as visitors parked and posed for pictures wearing hooded jackets.

Other parts of Nevada were forecast to receive as much as 8 inches of snow in the second winter storm this week to drop snow on the desert city. Snowfall is common in nearby mountains hills, but not on the Strip or surrounding neighborhoods.

Elsewhere, snow shut Interstate 15 over 4,190-foot Cajon Pass east of Los Angeles. By early Thursday, just a single lane on the southbound side was open, as officers escorted a small stream of drivers through the pass.

Snow also fell across much of Washington state on Wednesday, with Spokane, in the northeast part of the state, declaring a snow emergency and vowing that its snowplows would be working nonstop until the streets were clear.

Most areas of Spokane had picked up 8 inches of snow by evening, with another 5-10 inches expected by daybreak Thursday.

The storm dumped as much as 4 feet of snow at Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains and schools were closed Thursday, many of them for the fourth straight day, in several high desert and mountain districts.

Even Malibu got a dusting of snow, as the usually balmy city saw a half-inch in the afternoon.


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