NASA: Super Bloom Fires Up Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 18 March 2019



Colors of Life
Fires Up the Sands & Terrain of Anza Borrego

NASA Earth Observatory images of Anza Borrego super bloom by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. This image would typically uniformly be shades of the colors of sand, without the super bloom. Landsat comparison.

Landsat view of Anza Borrego prior to Superbloom, NASA image.
Landsat Image


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Wildflower Super Bloom Returns to California,
NASA Earth Observatory, March 18, 2019.


“Thanks to a rainy winter in Southern California, a vast bloom of wildflowers has overtaken...” Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

"...“super blooms” can occur when heavy rains fall over arid areas, which is exactly what happened in Southern California. In 2017-18, much of Southern California endured abnormally dry and drought conditions. The lack of moisture killed invasive grasses that can keep the wildflowers from blooming. With the grasses dead, the wildflower seeds were able to absorb the rain during the abnormally wet winter of 2018-19. Thus, sprouting began."

“...the best places to see the blooms are Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Carrizo Plain National Monument, Joshua Tree National Park, and the southern San Joaquin Valley—all areas that were extremely dry last year. The bloom could last in different regions until April.”


Direct to the Landsat Images
The Sands are Alive with the Colors of Life



Previous Observations

Feb 9, 2019
2nd Superbloom in 2 years

Death Valley Superbloom of 2016


Bottom Line

We under the weather in California have been, and are presently watching our West Coast weather rapidly swinging from one extreme to the other. We’ve experienced a series of historic extremes of dryness only measurable against, and comparable to the greatest dry periods over spans of geological history, whipsawing with unprecedented rapidly to the other extreme of historical levels of wetness.

Thankfully, In between these rapidly pivoting extremes we find other, more pleasing extremes are also produced, such as this superbloom.

On the other hand, if another series of powerful Tropical Transport Mechanisms establishes itself into this Spring, as it did across much of our Winter, the chances of torrential tropical rains rapidly scouring feet of snow off the High Sierra become uncomfortably high, as it appeared to be during the late Winter and Spring of 2017.

It looks like we're getting another, "bite at the apple," of historic-level extreme flooding, again this year... We'll see.


Research & Analysis

What happens when our Seasonal Snowfall turns into Seasonal Rainfall?


When Deserts Bloom


Death Valley Superbloom of 2016
Death Valley Superbloom of 2016, Dianne Milliard.
By Dianne Milliard.



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superbloom, super bloom, 2019, 2017, Anza Borrego, desert, state park, climate change, weather extremes


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