The Extreme Weather at Burning Man
It was the Summer Solstice of 1986 where two friends on a beach in San Francisco decided to burn a man made of sticks. Today, more than 70,000 people gather every year in Black Rock Desert, NV for what is now called “Burning Man” and what is known as a temporary community dedicated to self-expression and self-reliance.
Weather in late August/early September is typically warm, but some forget that it can be downright freezing at times. Event participants have to be prepared for freezing cold evenings and daytime temperatures in the mid-70s. In 1999, many longtime participants found themselves unprepared for a week’s worth of high winds and low temperatures. When it comes to the weather at Burning Man, it’s much better to be over-prepared.
The playa is often violent and unpredictable. Dust storms, high winds, freezing temperatures and rain. It all can happen out there. The more prepared the better. Winds are often 20-30 mph under normal conditions, and winds from 40-70mph can be felt during a storm.
Just a few of the items that are recommended to survive the unpredictable weather are dust masks for blowing sand, camelbacks to keep hydrated in the scorching sun, aloe gel to help with sunburn, and layers of clothes to keep warm in case of freezing conditions.
For some, it’s a bucket list item, for others it’s not their cup of tea, but for Meteorologist Mike Morrison, he describes it as “An amazing experience of art and culture.”