All eyes have been on the flood-ravaged South Carolina this week, but another place on the other side of the country also reported quite a bit of rain, too. Relatively speaking, of course.
The official weather station at Death Valley National Park recorded a preliminary total of 0.55 inches of rain from 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday. That might not seem like a lot, but it’s a bucket-load for the world’s hottest location — enough to tie the wettest 24-hour period on record in October.
It has only rained this much in 24 hours two times in the past — on Oct. 3-4, 1972 (also an El Nino year), and before that on Oct. 16-17, 1934. The “torrential” downpour also set a new record for the Oct. 4-5 period. The previous record for the period was 0.2 inches in 1912.
This month is also now the fourth wettest October on record for Death Valley, where the average total monthly precipitation is a mere 0.07 inches.
The majority of the 0.55 inches fell from Sunday afternoon to Sunday night. The rain was part of a large trough of low pressure that’s kicking up storms across the Southwest this week. Strong thunderstorms with high rainfall rates moved through Las Vegas on Monday evening, causing flash flooding in the Valley. Roads and parking garages were swiftly filled with rushing water as the storms passed over.
This story has been updated to note that the record was set for the month of October. It has rained more than 0.55 inches in Death Valley in the past.