Death Valley experiences the fourth 1-in-1 000 year rain event in less than 2 weeks in the US

75% of Death Valley’s annual rainfall fell in 3 hours on August 5, 2022, making it the fourth 1-in-1 000-year rain event to occur in the United States in less than 2 weeks. Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in the country.

The previous extreme rainfall events were St Louis on July 25-26, Eastern Kentucky on July 28, and Southern Illinois on August 2.

On Friday, August 5, Furnace Creek in Death Valley received 37.1 mm (1.46 inches) of rainfall in a couple of hours, breaking the previous rainfall record for August 5, set in 1936 at 27.9 mm (1.10 inches).

Friday’s total is 10.9 mm (0.42 inches) below the park’s annual precipitation average of 48 mm (1.9 inches).

death valley flash flood july 11 and august 7 comparison eo
NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE and GIBS/Worldview.

The resulting floods stranded 1 000 visitors and staff in Death Valley National Park. By August 6, the flood water had mostly receded, and the stranded visitors were able to exit the park escorted by National Park Service personnel.

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Featured image: NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE and GIBS/Worldview.

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