By Lorie Lewis Ham
California has been suffering from a very long drought. According to CalMatters, it has been the driest period in the West in the past 1,200 years. However, 2023 has seen record precipitation and disastrous flooding throughout much of California. Recently, we even saw snow where you never expect to see snow. AccuWeather states that the official rain gauge in downtown Los Angeles was filled with 2.29 inches of rain on Friday, February 24, making it the wettest February day since February 12, 2003, when 2.45 inches fell. California also experienced a significant soaking in the fall of 2022.
While this much needed, but also at times dangerous, rain and snow might not bring an end to the drought, it does bring with it the possibility of witnessing one of nature’s most spectacular displays of color and life—a superbloom. According to Secret Los Angeles, millions of wildflowers will be covering the west coast from Death Valley to Big Sur and beyond, creating a beautiful display of color that can be seen from miles away. The San Diego Explorer describes it as a time “when the landscape is covered with a rainbow explosion of colorful flowers.”
What is a superbloom? According to Wikipedia, a superbloom is a rare desert botanical phenomenon in California in which an unusually high proportion of wildflowers whose seeds have lain dormant in desert soil germinate and blossom at roughly the same time. The phenomenon is associated with an unusually wet rainy season. Wikipedia also states that superblooms typically occur in California only once every ten years or so. The right factors needed for a superbloom to happen, according to The San Diego Explorer, include a delicate balance of sunshine, wind, temperature, and rainfall that has occurred during fall and winter.
So, when can you see a superbloom? According to Secret Los Angeles, it is nearly impossible to know the exact dates. Peak season generally occurs around the beginning of spring and can last through June. The San Diego Explorer recommends keeping an eye on local news channels for current updates on the local California Wildflower bloom.
Where are the best places to see a superbloom? House Beautiful has a list of the top ten places to see one. Most of the locations they list are national and state parks such as Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Joshua Tree, and Mount Diablo. Other possible locations include Point Dume and Death Valley.
If you are lucky enough to experience a superbloom this year, be sure to take plenty of photos! And if you do, we would love to have you share some of them with us on the Mennonite Insurance Facebook page.