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Unexpected Lake Formation in Death Valley

  • 23 Feb 2024
  • 1 min read

Source: DTE

North America’s driest region, Badwater Basin, nestled within Death Valley has experienced a significant increase in precipitation since August 2023, leading to the unexpected formation of Manly Lake.

  • Manly Lake was formed after Hurricane Hilary in August 2023. While it initially got smaller as expected, it surprisingly stayed throughout the fall and winters.
    • It grew again in February 2024 because a strong atmospheric river brought more water.
      • An atmospheric river is a narrow band of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere that carries water vapour from the tropics to higher latitudes.
      • Unlike a visible water body, an atmospheric river is an invisible, elongated corridor in the sky that carries large amounts of water vapour, influencing weather patterns and precipitation.
    • This disrupted the basin's usual pattern of rapid evaporation, allowing the unexpected formation and persistence of Manly Lake.

Read more: Death Valley

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