By Steve Beauregard
Typically the third busiest month of the year in Las Vegas (behind March and October), May is the month where Sin City begins to turn the corner, weather-wise, from a comfortable spring to the scorching hot summers we know are coming.
It’s a month that has seen temperatures as low as 38 degrees once, and – on the opposite end – 109 degrees on occasion, but those are unusual.
The normal daily highs and lows are 88 degrees and 65 degrees respectively, but those are “normals.” The Strip and surroundings can get pretty unbearable in late May. In fact, the all-time high temperatures for each day in May are all past the hundred degree mark.
Here’s a look at some of the averages, and generally what you can expect to see and feel during a May visit to Sin City.
Average temperature in Las Vegas in May
For all hours in all of May, the normal temperature in Las Vegas is 77.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 25.16 degrees Celsius.
In the first part of May, the average daily highs are a very pleasant low to mid 80’s, while the later part of the month sees average daily highs in the mid 90’s. (More on that below).
(Related: April weather in Las Vegas).
The normal May lows in Las Vegas range from 61 degrees on May Day, May 1st, to 70 degrees during the last three days of the month. All of which means, it should never really be cold enough in Las Vegas in May where you need a jacket. Even if you are stumbling back to the hotel drunk at 3 a.m.
Some other weather facts about Las Vegas weather in May:
Las Vegas High and Low Temperatures in May
After decades of tracking and recording, the National Weather Service states that the typical daily high temperature in May is exactly 88.9 degrees. From May 18th to the end of the month, the typical high for the day is 90 degrees or higher.
Hottest Temperature in May in Las Vegas
Sin City’s all time hottest weather ever recorded during the month of May is 109 degrees, which happened twice, most recently on May 28th, 2003. Every single day in May has seen at least one day of 100 degree temperatures since weather records began being tracked.
(Related: What is the all time record low temperature in Las Vegas history?)
Coldest Temperature in Las Vegas in May
The normal daily low for Vegas in May is a reasonable 65.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 18.5 degrees Celsius.
May 3rd, 1942, marks the day when Las Vegas experienced its coldest May day. That morning, during the middle of World War II, the thermometer dropped to 38 degrees.
Precipitation in Las Vegas in May
May is the second driest month of the year in Las Vegas, behind only June. For the entire month of May, the Las Vegas valley normally receives .12 inches of precipitation for the entire month. Compare this rainfall (less than 1/5th of one inch), to that to the rainiest spot in North America, Henderson Lake in Canada (on Vancouver Island), which receives an average of over 22 inches of rain per month.
The wettest May day in Las Vegas history was May 16, 1987, when .83 of an inch of rain fell down.
(Related: Las Vegas weather in June).
As for snow? Believe it or not, Las Vegas did get what the National Weather Service calls a “trace” of snow a couple of times in the month of May. (Most recently back in 1979), have the city has never received any measurable snow in the month of May.
Las Vegas Weather During Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day weekends in Las Vegas are busy, crowded, loud, but also sunny and hot.
The exact dates for the three day weekend change from year-to-year of course, but from May 27th on, the normal daily high is either 93 or 94 degrees, while the normal daily low is 69 degrees to 70 degrees. And we already mentioned that May is typically very dry in Las Vegas
More officially, the National Weather Service says that since 1937, the average high and low temperatures on Memorial Day itself are 93 and 67 degrees respectively.
Interesting Las Vegas Weather and Other Facts for the Month of May
* The windiest day in the history of Las Vegas happened to take place on a day in May. It was May 10th, 2000 to be exact, when the the weather service recorded a wind gust of 56 miles per hour.
* In terms of gaming revenue received, May is the busiest month on the Las Vegas Strip. However last year, May was the 3rd SLOWEST month for casinos in downtown Las Vegas.
* In terms of hotel occupancy rates casinos on the Las Vegas Strip experience a 92.7% occupancy rate during May, while downtown hotels see a rate of 86.6%.
* According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, May is the second most expensive month of the year to get a hotel room. Last year, May had the second highest average nightly hotel room cost, at just over $137 per night. (March was slightly higher).
* As for Sin City’s May convention business, the big one is the REcon convention held in mid to late May. The trade show for retail real estate industry professionals brings in 36,000 attendees.
* The other big convention is the National Hardware Show, in which 30,000 people attend. This is held very early in May.