Global warming hits Las Vegas

posted at 11:58 am on December 18, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

I’ve been writing about the early and colder winter that has hit the Twin Cities, but let’s face it – below-zero temperatures and huge snowdrifts in Minnesota don’t exactly make headlines, even if the bitter cold is at least a month early.  For news like that to make an impact, record cold temperatures and heavy snowfall would have to hit someplace that least expects it and has no preparations to deal with it — and a place that everyone recognizes.

How about … Las Vegas?

A rare snowstorm blanketed the Las Vegas Valley on Wednesday, delaying flights, causing widespread fender-benders and canceling events. As much as 8 inches of snow fell in parts of the valley, forecasters said this morning.

The rarities continued Wednesday night with the Clark County School District’s announcement that students are getting a snow day today. It’s the first snow day for Clark County students since 1979, when a storm dropped 9.9 inches of snow in January that year.

With ice and snow on the roads, and district buses responsible for transporting more than 80,000 students, closing school was the prudent move, Superintendent Walt Rulffes said.

Bus drivers, teachers and other classroom employees will also have the day off. Administrators, 12-month employees and office staff are expected to be at work, since some students might show up at school and require adult assistance, Rulffes explained in an e-mail to staff. In a statement this morning, the school district said all school-based food service personnel, food service truck drivers and warehouse employees are not to report for work. However, all other food service personnel shall report for work or contact their supervisor.

Want to bet how many of the casinos closed?  I’d take the over/under at zero.

Eight inches of snow would qualify as a major snowstorm in Minnesota, where we have the infrastructure to deal with it.  It would greatly impede traffic, snow emergencies would get called in the metropolitan areas, and the roads would slow to a crawl, although schools wouldn’t close.  Four inches in Vegas proper — where they won’t have snowplows at the ready — is a disaster.  Ice makes it even worse, and indicates that the temperatures dropped dramatically as the precipitation fell.

How badly does this impact Vegas?  Snow has only fallen in December there on four occasions in the past 70 years, which means they have no infrastructure to handle it.  McCarran Airport, the main entry and exit point for the city’s vital tourist business, has no equipment to clear snow from the runways.  They’re having to improvise, and the delays are damaging the city’s business at a time when they can ill afford it.

Snow in the desert.  Record colds.  Vegas paralyzed by ice, snow, and resultant power outages.  That global warming sure looks interesting now.

Update: A Cox and Forkum classic, courtesy of Newton in the comments:


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Comments

I’m waiting for the “carbon offset” bubble to burst.

darwin-t on December 18, 2008 at 9:56 PM

Keep in mind that while 99.9% of all species have gone extinct, what is worrying biologists is a sharp increase in the rate of extinction.

thuja on December 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Thuja spreads species extinction propaganda.

Bullshit! – Endangered Species (1/3) (Video) (10min)
Bullshit! – Endangered Species (2/3) (Video) (10min)
Bullshit! – Endangered Species (3/3) (Video) (9min)

Not Extinct – Angola Giant Sable: Rare African antelope ‘rediscovered’ (BBC)
Not Extinct – Bavarian Short-eared Mouse: Back from the dead, not seen for 40 years (The Guardian, UK)
Not Extinct – Beck’s Petrel: Flies Back From Presumed Extinction (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Cobble Elimia, Nodulose Coosa and Cahaba Pebble Snails: Thought extinct found in Alabama (Associated Press)
Not Extinct – Cape Lion: ‘Extinct’ lions surface in Siberia (BBC)
Not Extinct – Capricorn Beetle: ‘Extinct’ beetle comes out of the woodwork (The Daily Telegraph)
Not Extinct – Canterbury Knobbed Weevils: ‘Extinct’ bug found alive and well in high-country reserve (The New Zealand Herald)
Not Extinct – Cozumel Thrasher: ‘Extinct’ Bird Rediscovered In Mexico (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Cuban Solenodon: Mammal thought extinct found in Cuba (The Age, Australia)
Not Extinct – Dwarf Cloud Rat: Rediscovered After 112 Years (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Giant Palouse Earthworm: Idaho Researcher Finds Rare Earthworm (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Gilbert’s Potoroo: Thought extinct for over 100 years, found in Western Australia (Associated Press)
Not Extinct – Glass Sponges: Once thought extinct, now found nearby (UWeek)
Not Extinct – Greater Bamboo Lemur: Held Extinct Found on Madagascar (The New York Times)
Not Extinct – Greater Mouse-eared Bat: ‘Extinct’ – bounces back (BBC)
Not Extinct – Harlequin Frog (Carrikeri): Rediscovered In Remote Region Of Colombia (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Harlequin Frog (Painted Frog): Believed Extinct Found Alive (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Harlequin Frog (San Lorenzo): Rediscovery Of Endangered Colombian Frogs (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Harlequin Frog (Santa Marta): Rediscovery Of Endangered Colombian Frogs (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Indian Owl: Considered Extinct, Is Captured on Film by Americans (The New York Times)
Not Extinct – Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Not extinct (CNN)
Not Extinct – Javan Elephant: Presumed Extinct, May Have Been Found Again – In Borneo (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Javan Rhinoceros: Thought Extinct, a Few Are Seen in Vietnam (The New York Times)
Not Extinct – Kouprey Oxen: ‘Extinct’ oxen are seen (The New York Times)
Not Extinct – La Palma Giant Lizard: Scientists find ‘extinct’ giant lizards (BBC)
Not Extinct – Leatherback Turtles: Not extinct in Malaysia (The Hindu)
Not Extinct – Laotian Rock Rat: Retired professor tracks down rodent thought to be extinct (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Not Extinct – Long-beaked Echidna: New hope over ‘extinct’ echidna (BBC)
Not Extinct – Michigan Cougars: Not Extinct, Animal Droppings Indicate (Live Science)
Not Extinct – Mount Diablo Buckwheat Wildflower: Thought Extinct Rediscovered in California (NPR)
Not Extinct – New York Moose: Once Extinct in the state, return to New York (The New York Times)
Not Extinct – Opal Allotoca: ‘Extinct’ Fish Found (The New York Times)
Not Extinct – Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly: Flutters Back to Life (The New York Times)
Not Extinct – Pygmy Hippos: Caught on film (BBC)
Not Extinct – Pygmy Tarsiers: Long-lost ‘Furby-like’ Primate Discovered In Indonesia (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Rat-squirrel: Not extinct after all (USA Today)
Not Extinct – Red Colobus Monkey: Thought Extinct Still Exists (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Robust Redhorse Sucker Fish: Thought Extinct Found Again in Georgia (The Georgia Aquarium)
Not Extinct – Ryukyu Spiny Rat: Not Extinct (Japan Probe)
Not Extinct – Siamese Crocodile: Once Thought Extinct, Is Photographed In Thailand (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Sheepnose Mussel: Thought extinct surfaces in Mississippi (Delta Farm Press)
Not Extinct – Short-necked Oil Beetle: Re-emerges after 60 years (BBC)
Not Extinct – Storm Petrel: Flies back from extinction after 150 years (The Daily Telegraph, UK)
Not Extinct – Sumatran Ground Cuckoo: Lost Cuckoo Breaks Its Silence (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Swinhoe’s Soft-Shell Turtle: Discovered Living In Wild In Northern Vietnam (Science Daily)
Not Extinct – Tibet Red Deer: Hunch Leads to Discovery of Herd Thought to Be Extinct (The New York Times)
Not Extinct – U.S. Jaguar: Gone for Decades, Jaguars Steal Back to the Southwest (The New York Times)
Not Extinct – Warbler: Fiji’s ‘extinct’ bird flies anew (BBC)
Not Extinct – Woolly Flying Squirrel: Long Thought Extinct, Shows Up in Pakistan (The New York Times)
Not Extinct – Yangtze (Baiji) River Dolphin: Previously Thought Extinct Spotted In The Yangtze River (Science Daily)

Poptech on December 18, 2008 at 10:13 PM

Keep in mind that while 99.9% of all species have gone extinct, what is worrying biologists is a sharp increase in the rate of extinction.

thuja on December 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Sorry thuja, I was going to let it go, but then I saw Poptech’s post and I can’t resist.

Allow me to enter 454,000 instances of “thought extinct” into the record.

Really, how arrogant do you have to be to declare a species extinct? How would you go about that? Wouldn’t you have to be in all places at the same time in order to make such a declaration? Unless you have overturned every rock and dived into every cave, what are your chances of being correct?

Watch for the “thought extinct” headline in the news from now on, its a common story.

Fact is, science is not and cannot be 100% sure that the dinosaurs are extinct. I know you will want to scoff at that but if you do, I’ll give you some links that suggest some may very well, still be alive today. Sounds crazy, I know.

Maxx on December 18, 2008 at 10:57 PM

Global Warming=Global Lie! Cannot believe some really feed into this. Surprised that DaveS and Star gazer isn’t spewing on here like they did yesterday. Amazing!

sheebe on December 19, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Global averages matter much more (see WMO reports) than these anecdotal snippets that prove nothing.

lexhamfox on December 18, 2008 at 1:51 PM

Good thing that global average temperatures have been falling for a decade.

MarkTheGreat on December 18, 2008 at 3:42 PM

Actually they have not. This year is the coolest in the last ten years according to the WMO which has records globally going back some time but 2008 is set o be the tenth warmest on record.

http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/news/index_en.html

lexhamfox on December 19, 2008 at 4:38 AM

Actually they have not. This year is the coolest in the last ten years according to the WMO which has records globally going back some time but 2008 is set o be the tenth warmest on record.

http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/news/index_en.html

lexhamfox on December 19, 2008 at 4:38 AM

Firstly your link doesn’t work. Second, don’t worry, with Hanson and his crew of merry “data fixers” they will soon have 2008 as the hottest year ever !!

But of course if you look at reconstructed data, you will see that nothing in the past 200 years comes close to being as hot as it was during the the Medieval Warm Period that lasted about 500 years from 800AD to 1300AD. I guess they were just driving way too many SUV’s back then.

Maxx on December 19, 2008 at 1:29 PM