Death Valley’s Aug. 5 rainstorm was even more unusual than first thought

Peninsula Premier Admin

Death Valley’s rainfall of Aug. 5, which caused flash flooding and damage that has kept roads closed, is now recognized as the park’s biggest single-day downpour on record.

The National Weather Service, relying on one of two gauges at Furnace Creek, initially reported 1.46 inches of rain — just shy of the 1.47 on April 15, 1988.

Now, the weather agency has confirmed 1.7 inches.

The day’s rain was more than three-quarters of Death Valley’s average annual precipitation, 2.2 inches.

Four weeks after the flooding, many roads remain closed. The park advises not to rely on mapping apps but to check Death Valley’s website.

Park officials emphasized that it’s particularly important for visitors over the Labor Day weekend to respect road closure signs, as the forecast temperatures near 125 degrees would make being stranded a dangerous situation.  Much of the park does not have cell-phone service.

Highway 190 — the main east-west road across the park — has been reopened, as have Dantes View, Artists Drive, and Badwater Drive between Badwater and 190. Hotels, restaurants, and gas stations are open.

Roads that remain closed because of debris and roadway damage include Beatty Cutoff, North Highway and Badwater Road between Badwater and Shoshone.

Contributed by local news sources

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