Neighborhoods Buried in Mud After Hilary

Death Valley National Park in California experienced heavy rainfall on August 20 due to Tropical Storm Hilary. The park, known for its desert conditions and extreme heat, received a record-breaking 2.20 inches of rain. This amount surpassed its average annual rainfall of 2.24 inches. The high temperature that day was only 78 degrees, significantly lower than the usual daily average of 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tropical Storm Hilary also brought heavy rain to the mountains of Death Valley. As a result, the park was closed on Monday due to flooding. Approximately 400 people in the surrounding areas took shelter, and authorities worked to clear an exit for those who were stranded inside the park. The park remained closed on Tuesday, and the reopening date for certain sections of the park is still unknown.

This is not the first time Death Valley has experienced flash flooding. Last August, the park witnessed a similar event when Furnace Creek, known as the driest place in North America, received about 75% of its annual rainfall in just three hours. This caused significant damage to buildings, swept away cars, and stranded people.

The drought in Death Valley has been a long-standing issue. Despite its arid climate, the park occasionally experiences periods of heavy rainfall, resulting in flash floods. These extreme weather events pose significant challenges to the park and its visitors.

The impact of Tropical Storm Hilary serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of weather patterns and the importance of being prepared for unexpected changes in natural conditions.