The extraordinary flood of the Death Valley desert, which can occur ‘every thousand years’

Death Valley desert flood

Credit, Reuters

A very unusual event happened in Death Valley in the Mojave Desert in the USA. The rains of the last few days were so intense in this American national park – in the States of California and Nevada – that they caused a great flood and about a thousand people were “trapped”, half of them visitors and the other half workers.

What drew attention was the amount of water that fell over the weekend in Furnace Creek, where the headquarters of Death Valley is located, in a span of three hours: 37.1 millimeters. This is equivalent to the average amount of rainfall in a year at the site, according to the National Park Service (NPS).

“The heavy rain that caused the devastating flood in Death Valley was an extremely rare event that occurs once every thousand years,” said Daniel Berc, a meteorologist at the US National Weather Service.

The expert clarified that it is not that the event happens exactly every 1,000 years, but that he refers to the fact that “there is a 0.1% probability of happening in any one year”.

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