Storm arrives as Pahrump experiences year of record-setting precipitation, heat

This week’s storm in Pahrump accumulated enough precipitation to end a streak of more than 100 days without rainfall.

And signs of winter were also prevalent in the upper elevations on Tuesday with a winter storm warning in place from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.

On Twitter, the weather service was also forecasting 8-12 inches of snowfall to land on Mount Charleston on Tuesday.

Localized amounts up to 18 inches were possible in parts of the region that includes the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon.

The storms triggered a flood advisory was issued until 5:15 p.m. Tuesday. Location expected to experience flooding included Pahrump, Shoshone, Baker, Indian Springs, Death Valley Junction Amargosa Valley, Dumont Dunes and Lathrop Wells, the National Weather Service said.

Rain on Monday night in the Pahrump Valley led to several storm-related power outages, the Valley Electric Association reported.

The longest outage was caused by a pole fire on Vicki Ann Road and Cash Avenue according to Mike Geoffroy, VEA manager of dispatch. The power went out at 7:59 p.m., and was restored at 12:15 a.m. Power was restored to 39 of the 42 customers. Three accounts remained out because they were fed directly by the pole that caught fire. These accounts regained power at 3:20 a.m. Another outage attributed transformer-fuse related issue.

’17 data in record territory

The storm arrived in Pahrump a week into the new year.

Throughout 2017, the Pahrump Valley had been in the top spots on many fronts concerning weather.

Pahrump made the grade when it came to heat records and days without rainfall—reaching top 10 marks multiple times in 2017 in both categories. Neighboring Las Vegas has also seen its share of falling records and a dry spell, which also ended on Monday.

Pahrump had its second-highest average temperature in a six-year period from 2012 through 2017 with an average temperature of 64.1 degrees, said Kate Guillet, a meteorologist at the weather service in Las Vegas.

That’s not the only heat record set in 2017 in Pahrump, which saw its ninth-hottest year on record for 2017, according to Guillet.

The Pahrump area also experienced some of its longest periods without measurable rainfall, above average minimum and maximum temperatures and had triple-digit temperatures last for a record period.

The Pahrump area saw the end of the streak with 0.01 of an inch falling before lunchtime on Monday, according to the National Weather Service in Las Vegas.

Rainfall totals varied throughout the Pahrump Valley with some areas reaching over a quarter-inch on Monday, according to the National Weather Service in Las Vegas. The trend continued on Tuesday with parts of Pahrump heading toward a half-inch around noon.

The remainder of the week is expected to remain dry through Saturday, Guillet said.

Las Vegas also had its streak without measurable rainfall end on Monday. The area had gone 116 days without rain, the longest stretch for the Las Vegas Valley in its recorded history. According to information on the weather service’s Twitter page, some areas in Las Vegas saw well over an inch of rainfall in a 24-hour period beginning about 9:30 a.m. Monday.

High temperatures and forecast

The high is expected to reach 57 today and fall to 27 degrees at night, according to information onthe weather service’s website.

Pahrump’s high temperatures are expected be in the low 60s starting Thursday and rising to about the mid-60s for the remainder of the week through Sunday. The nighttime lows will be just above the mid-20s through Saturday, according to the weather service.

Over the summer of 2017, the temperatures weren’t so forgiving.

“We just had periods of above normal temperatures and above normal low temperatures throughout the entire year,” she said.

The average low temperature for 2017, the average of the lowest daily temperature through 2017, was 47.6 degrees. That was above the all-time average of 44.5 degrees, which was calculated through the culmination of the average for all years since record-keeping began in 1914.

To be fair, no records were kept in Pahrump from 1926 to 1948, according to Guillet.

The average of the high temperatures for 2017 was also above normal, based on history, hitting 80.6 degrees. The historical average sits at 77.9 degrees for all years where record keeping was available.

The average between the low and the high, across all calendar days of 2017, was 64.1 degrees, which, as mentioned earlier, was the ninth hottest year on record for Pahrump. The historical average of all years on record for Pahrump was 61.2 degrees, Guillet said.

The average annual temperatures for each year in Pahrump have stayed well above that overall average. Only in 1998 did Pahrump come close to this average with an annual yearly temperature of 61.4 degrees, Guillet said.

Pahrump was definitely heating up during the summer of 2017, hitting 113 degrees for a high on June 21. That was enough to tie for the No. 13 spot for hottest day on record in Pahrump. Interestingly, the Pahrump Valley has hit this temperature more than once; in fact, the temperature record holds for the No. 13 spot to the No. 26 spot for hottest day in the valley.

The Pahrump Valley also had a tendency to keep the heat going in 2017 — reaching at least 100 degrees for 34 consecutive days. That record ties for first place. The last time the heat hung around that long was in 2002, Guillet said.

The stretch also gave Pahrump the third longest number of days over 105 degrees with 11 days in a row. The area also fell to the No. 6 spot how long of a stretch the area saw temperatures above 110 degrees at three days, Guillet said.

The Beatty and Amargosa Valley area are a little harder to track, as both areas have not kept weather records for the last several years, Guillet said.

Las Vegas also broke records with temperatures.

With an annual average temperature of 72.3 degrees for 2017, Las Vegas officially had its hottest year on record. A high of 117 degrees on June 20 at McCarran International Airport marked a tie for the hottest temperature ever recorded in the city, according to data from the weather service.

Rainfall

Pahrump has also been experiencing a dry spell, with Sept. 12, 2017 being the last rain until Monday at mid-morning.

Pahrump officially landed on its own top-ten list for record number of consecutive days without rain on Dec. 31. That’s when the town had not seen rain for 108 days, leaving behind the previous 107-day record. The town had edged close to the the ninth longest stretch at 120 days, but missed the mark by less than a handful of days.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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