This is typically what Death Valley, California, looks like — desolate.
At 282 feet below sea level, the valley has the lowest elevation in North America and sees little to no rain each year. Temperatures can also easily exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit, baking an already barren, parched landscape.
So at Death Valley National Park — the world record holder for hottest temperature at 134F in 1913 — only the hardiest of vegetation manage to eek out an existence.
But on rare occasions, spurts of above-average rainfall can transform this barren landscape because wildflower seeds lay dormant for years.
The average annual rainfall for Death Valley is about two inches, but a series of unusual storms in October dumped more than three inches in some areas, setting the stage for a transformation.