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It’s Back: The Superbloom Returns to this Californian Desert

9 Mar 2017, 6:54 am

It’s one of the coolest bits of blooming in the entire U.S. but is also among one of the least appreciated by human eyes.

I’m talking about the superbloom– and it’s back!

A Dry Climate

One of the things that makes the superbloom so rare is that it takes the right weather conditions in order to even occur.

The Borrego Desert in south-central California is one of the hottest places on earth. Don’t Believe me? How about averaging more than 100°F for a high temperature more than 4 months out of the year! In fact in June of 1990 Borrego Springs recorded a high temperature of 122°F!

With temperatures like that, no wonder it’s a desert! But it doesn’t stop there. The town of Borrego Springs (not too far away) averages about 6 inches of rain each year.

Kevin Key Photography

Posted by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park on Monday, September 7, 2015

A Wet Year

Averages aren’t always the best way to describe precipitation. Anomalies or outliers can easily skew data.
Just look at Atlanta, GA with an average annual snowfall of almost 3 inches!
Often times the city can go an entire year without a single flurry in the sky.

So when we talk about rain in the Deserts of central California, measuring it in inches is a big deal!

This past year the Anza-Borrego Desert measured more than 7 inches of rainfall.
And that is what sets the stage for what could be one of the great blooms of the arid region.

With all of that rain and now sun in the forecast, we are looking at an early start toward a spectacular peak bloom!

Posted by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park on Sunday, January 22, 2017

Peak Bloom

Park officials estimate peak bloom to take place during the middle part of the month (March) this year.

And even though the flowers are already on their way, there are a couple tips if you plan on seeking out this rare event.

  • Start Early
    Afternoon heat causes many of the flowers to close up in order to protect themselves from the harsh sun rays and heat
  • Venture Out
    While park roads offer excellent access, some of the best viewing lives down some of the park’s many trails
  • Not a Hiker?
    Try one of the park’s Jeep trails!

But catch this while you can! The event doesn’t last long, and with this year’s bloom expected to be the best in almost 2 decades– it sure isn’t something you want to miss!

Check Out 2016’s Superbloom


For WeatherNation — Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo

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