The state flower of California is the Golden Poppy. Also known as the California Poppy or California Golden Poppy, it's a perennial favorite, and is one of the first wild flowers to bloom each year in the state. It is also called the Flame Flower, and from some of the drone footage below, you can see why. Entire hillsides are ablaze with color! Entire fields of the flower are in full bloom!
This year, is a super bloom, an explosion of color, as countless numbers of the flower bloom at the same time. A bloom of this size is actually pretty rare, and throngs of people are flocking to towns like Lake Elsinore, California to witness the botanical spectacle! In fact, the crowds have been so large, and the traffic jams so massive, that the town actually shut down the bloom area on Sunday. At times, traffic on Interstate 15 in Riverside County near the bloom actually came to a stand-still during the weekend. The wild-flower viewing area in Walker Canyon was re-opened on Monday.
Why such an incredible bloom this year? Rain... and lots of it. This winter, California saw a continuous cycle of storms, that brought plenty of moisture, even to Southern California. All of this winter moisture led to a Super Bloom, which is a term used to describe wildflower blooms that exceed a typical season. The Poppies started appearing in late February, and Lake Elsinore was the first place to see a major bloom. It wasn't long before the hillsides were blanketed with vibrant orange flowers, and the crowds soon followed.
Of course with crowds come problems, like traffic jams. But other problems have surfaced too. People often stray off of paths to get pictures, and the flowers get trampled. If enough people continue to do this, the entire bloom will become much less "super".
So if you have plans to visit Lake Elsinore, please stay on the designated trails, respect the rights and privacy of area residents who have been overwhelmed by the traffic and crowds, and check the city's Facebook page before you go. www.facebook.com/CityofLakeElsinore There's a lot of useful information there, including road closures, parking lot availability, and shuttle locations. And finally, if you go, enjoy the sights of the magnificent California Poppy! By many account, the best in years!
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Matt Monroe