Saturday, May 30, 2015

How Strange Has the Weather Been? This was the Death Valley Region only a week ago

Zabriskie Point in late May. It's usually over 100 degrees and sunny this time of year.
The weather was a last week as we hit the road to the southwest. We meant to drive over Tioga Pass, and made it to Crane Flat, only to find the pass was closed by snow. We headed back down to the Central Valley and crossed the mountains at Tehachapi. From there we arrived in Death Valley for two nights of camping. It's late May, the temperature is usually well over 100 degrees, but this is what greeted us at Furnace Creek:

We actually needed a light blanket in our tent the first night. We followed Highway 190 east to Death Valley Junction, trying to thread our way between storms. We watched the gully-washer turn Eagle Mountain into shadows.

We passed a small herd of wild horses near Death Valley Junction. They seemed unperturbed by the downpour.

The town of Shoshone is a small outpost of civilization east of Death Valley. It was wet too. There has been odd weather across the country of late. Seeing May snow in the Death Valley high country and rain across the valley floor certainly fit the pattern. I have no conclusions to draw from this, but it's strange to see droughts and record heat in California and the Alaskan rainforest, along with intense flooding in Texas and Oklahoma. Strange and interesting...

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