Winter Storm Dumps Snow, Rain, in Death Valley National Park


Image: Snow at Death Valley National Park’s CA-190 west entrance on February 8. By Elyscia Letterman, National Park Service.

The location where the hottest temperature was ever recorded on the planet received snow in early February as a result of strong atmospheric river storms that blew in to California. Death Valley, California has been described as the “Hottest, Driest and Lowest National Park,” holding the record for the world record highest air temperature of 134°F (57°C), recorded at Furnace Creek on July 10, 1913.

The National Park Service (NPS) reported that Death Valley received a couple of inches of snow on February 7, when temperatures recorded on the valley floor dropped to 37°F. According to the NPS, snow fell as low as about 4,000 feet in the park and left mountains covered in snow.

The storm also caused damage due to flooding and other conditions. NPS reports,

Most major points of interest along paved roads are accessible. However, many secondary and backcountry roads are closed due to storm damage.

So much rain came from the winter storm at lower elevations it actually formed lakes in places like Badwater Basin. In the photo below from the NPS Facebook page, you can see the snow that covered the mountains as well as the lake that formed from the last storm.

Image: Snowcapped mountains against a clear blue skyline a valley floor that holds water so still it reflects the mountains. NPS/ K. Skilling.

NPS writes:

Death Valley is the driest place in North America, typically receiving about 2 inches of rain per year. The official weather gauge at Furnace Creek has measured 4.9 inches in the past six months, with most of that happening in just two events: the remnants of Hurricane Hilary (2.2 inches on August 20) and the recent atmospheric river (1.5 inches from February 4-7).


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