Lake Manly – Temporary Oasis Forms in Death Valley After Heavy Rains

Lake Manly – Temporary Oasis Forms in Death Valley After Heavy Rains

In an unexpected turn of events, heavy rainfall in the past six months has led to the creation of a rare and temporary lake in the Badwater Basin, situated at the bottom of Death Valley, California.

Receiving 4.9 inches of rainfall, the basin transformed into a lake, informally named Lake Manly.

The lake spans approximately six miles in length, three miles in width, and reaches a depth of one foot.

Unusual Weather Events:

This phenomenon was triggered by specific weather events, including 2.2 inches of rainfall from Hurricane Hilary in 2023 and an additional 1.5 inches during an atmospheric river between February 4 and 7.

Considering Death Valley typically experiences an annual average rainfall of around two inches, this recent accumulation is exceptionally rare.

Kayaking in the Desert:

Visitors are now presented with a unique opportunity as the temporary lake is suitable for kayaking for a limited period.

Park rangers anticipate that, although shallow, Lake Manly will offer captivating reflections until April.

Videos depict visitors walking through the lake, providing a surreal experience of traversing a body of water in one of the driest places in the United States.

Exceptional Nature of the Event:

Park ranger Abby Wines emphasizes the rarity of such an occurrence in Death Valley, noting that the usual water inflow is significantly lower than the evaporation rate.

While the lake was briefly suitable for kayaking after Hurricane Hilary, the damaged roads from flash floods prevented visitors from enjoying this unique sight.

With most main roads now open, it is considered an opportune time to witness this extraordinary event.

NASA’s Aerial Perspective:

Images released by NASA, utilizing false color to accentuate water presence in shades of blue, vividly depict the transformation of the area from July 5, 2023, to February 14, 2024.

The dry salt flat basin, positioned at 282 feet below sea level, claims the title of the lowest elevation in North America.

Historical Reference:

Lake Manly draws its name from an ancient lake that existed tens of thousands of years ago and evaporated over time.

Prior to the recent transformation in 2023, the lake’s last appearance was documented in 2005.

Visitor Safety and Guidance:

Park officials advise visitors to prioritize safety and adhere to designated pathways while exploring this temporary marvel.

Despite its ephemeral nature, Lake Manly provides a captivating glimpse into the resilience and adaptability of natural landscapes.

The emergence of Lake Manly serves as a testament to the unpredictable and fascinating facets of nature.

This event not only offers a captivating visual spectacle but also highlights the delicate balance between natural forces, creating a temporary oasis in the midst of a typically arid environment.

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