1-in-1000-year rain triggers flash flood at the hottest place in the world
Death Valley in California is known as the hottest place in the world, and the driest place in the United States, however, climate change is changing the scenery. The US has witnessed the fourth 1-in-1000-year rain event, which has triggered flash floods in the valley.
The event has led to over a thousand people being stranded inside California's Death Valley National Park, forcing authorities to close it temporarily. According to reports, over 60 cars belonging to park visitors and staff were buried in several feet of debris at the Inn at Death Valley, a historic luxury hotel near the park headquarters in Furnace Creek.
John Sirlin, who is a storm chaser in the US, and captures weather events, posted a video on social media which showed the extent of flooding in one of the driest areas of the world.
The rains, which lashed the area, led to about 500 visitors and 500 park staff being unable to leave the park because all roads into and out of Death Valley were closed, according to the statement. The flooding was unleashed by a torrential shower that dumped 1.46 inches (3.7 cm) of rain at Furnace Creek, nearly matching the previous daily record there of 1.47 inches measured from a downpour in 1988, park spokesperson Amy Wines said.
Flash floods from monsoonal rains are a natural part of Death Valley's ecology and occur somewhere in the park almost every year, constantly carving and reshaping its dramatic canyon landscape. Most of the rain — just over an inch — came in an epic downpour between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Friday, said John Adair, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Las Vegas.
Since 1936, the only single day with more rain was April 15, 1988, when 1.47 inches (3.73 centimeters) fell, park officials said.