Carrizo Badlands Overlook in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.
Well now I’m officially excited about the wildflower prospects for this year! Anza-Borrego just received another .4 inches of rain in the last few days to go with the .88 earlier this year, and the person I just talked to at the visitor center said more could still fall today. It may not be a huge year like 2005, but unlike the past two years, there should be at least some wildflower activity. I could tell the ranger was excited even though she did say there are no guarantees. Some of the other southwest desert areas sound even more promising.
This is the third good rain of the winter to hit the desert southwest – even though the second storm largely missed Borrego, all three storms have hit areas like Palm Springs and Phoenix. Palm Springs officially received 1.35 of rain in November, 1.15 in December and .68 already in January giving them more then double what they would receive year to date in a normal water year (which begins in October).
Phoenix Arizona and the surrounding areas have also received more than a half of inch of rain in this last storm, and it is still coming down hard there. I must admit, I feel a bit guilty for taking delight in seeing rain choked highways when looking at the Arizona highway webcams. I see spring wildflowers, but I’m sure most people looking at those scenes are seeing traffic nightmares. Phoenix has received over 4 inches of rain in the last couple of months, putting it well ahead of a normal for this winter as well.
I mention Palm Springs and Phoenix because it is easy to get data on these more populated areas, but many of the surrounding desert areas in between should have experienced a decent amount of precipitation as well. It is interesting to look at the precipitation maps – rain fall isn’t uniform, one location can receive an inch or more, while nearby areas are largely missed.
Here is the latest desert wildflower update.