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Unusual weather causes flowers to bloom in California's Death Valley

Courtesy: National Weather Service Las Vegas/Twitter

Courtesy: National Weather Service Las Vegas/Twitter

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 4:19 PM - A warmer-than-average winter, coupled with heavy rainfall, has allowed wildflowers to bloom in the typically harsh climate of California's Death Valley.

While it's not uncommon to see flowers in the Valley, this year's bloom is happening early and could be more plentiful than previous years.

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“The weather over the next several weeks will be the determining factor, but from what I’m seeing on the ground, this could be the best year we’ve have had since the spectacular displays of 2005,” David Blacker, Executive Director of the Death Valley Natural History Association, said in a statement released in February.

“Death Valley National Park is great to visit anytime, but 2015 is definitely a year people won’t want to miss.”

The first signs of the flowers appeared last month, with many currently in full bloom -- as evidenced by the above photo which was posted to Twitter by the National Weather Service Las Vegas Thursday.

"Most of the showy desert wildflowers are annuals, also referred to as ephemerals because they are short-lived," Death Valley officials say in a statement.

"Oddly enough, this limited lifespan ensures survival here. Rather than struggle to stay alive during the desert’s most extreme conditions, annual wildflowers lie dormant as seeds. When enough rain finally does fall, the seeds quickly sprout, grow, bloom and go back to seed again before the dryness and heat returns.”

The wildflowers are generating a lot of buzz online, with photos of the flowers receiving more than 50,000 'likes' on Facebook.

Source: Death Valley National Park


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