Death Valley is known for its desert conditions and extreme heat, but this week it's making headlines for how much rain it has received during Tropical Storm Hilary. Death Valley National Park received a whopping 2.20 inches of rain on Aug. 20 – breaking
Usually, the area gets 2.24 inches of rain annually. On Sunday, the high temperature was just 78 degrees – the daily average is 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit, and summertime temperatures sometimes reach 120 degrees in the shade .
Death Valley's previous wettest day of all time was recorded on Aug. 5, 2022, when it received 1.70 inches of rain, NWS said.
Hilary brought even higher amounts of rain to the mountains of Death Valley, the Death Valley National Park said in an Instagram post. On Monday, the park was closed as floodwater rushed through parts of the park.
The park remained closed on Tuesday as an estimated 400 people in the surrounding areas sheltered in place after Hilary wreaked havoc on the roads, Death Valley National Park said. The park and California Highway Patrol were searching for anyone who may have been stranded within the park and were working to clear an exit so anyone left inside could safely leave.
"It is not known when the first sections of the park will reopen," the park wrote in the caption of a post showing a road that had been damaged by flooding.
On Instagram, the park said the rain came in two bursts – about an inch Sunday morning and an inch Sunday night.
Death Valley has a steady drought, according to the Nation Parks Service. The park experienced flash flooding last August as well, when Furnace Creek – considered the driest place in North America – received about 75% of its annual rainfall in just three hours, according to NASA's Earth Observatory. About two inches of rain fell, sweeping away cars, damaging buildings, stranding people and causing other damage in Death Valley National Park.
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