Las Vegas is situated within Clark County in an arid basin on the desert floor, surrounded by dry mountains. The Spring Mountains lie to the west. Much of the landscape is rocky and dusty; the environment is dominated by desert vegetation and some wildlife, and the area is subject to torrential flash floods. The elevation is around above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of, of which is land and (0.03%) is water.
Within the city there are many lawns, trees, and other greenery. Due to water resource issues, there is now a movement to encourage xeriscapes. Another part of the water conservation efforts include scheduled watering groups for watering residential landscaping. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant in 2008 funded a program that analyzed and forecast growth and environmental impacts through the year 2019.
Las Vegas' climate is a subtropical, hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification: BWh), typical of the Mojave Desert in which it lies. The city enjoys abundant sunshine year-round: it has an average of about 300 sunny days per year with more than 3,800 hours of sunshine.
The summer months of June through September are very hot and mostly dry, with a July daily average temperature of, while night-time temperatures often remain above . There are an average of 134 days of + highs, and 74 days of + highs, with most of the days in July and August exceeding the latter benchmark, and only occasionally failing to reach the former. Humidity is very low, often under 10%.
Las Vegas' winters are of short duration and the season is generally mild, with December, the coolest month, averaging . The mountains surrounding Las Vegas accumulate snow during the winter but snow is rare in the Las Vegas Valley itself, although on December 16, 2008, Las Vegas received . Temperatures reach the freezing mark on 16 nights of the year but rarely sink to .
Annual precipitation in Las Vegas is about, which on average occurs on 26–27 days per year. Most of the precipitation falls in the winter, but the wettest month (February) has on average only 4 days of precipitation.
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