California's massive super bloom seen from space following historic, drought-ending rains

California’s massive super bloom seen from space following historic, drought-ending rains

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California has been drenched in color as super blooms of vibrant wildflowers are seen bursting across the landscape from outer space after a winter of torrential rains sated the drought-stricken state.

The colorful spectacle was captured on images released by Maxar Technologies, showing a flood of vibrant orange, yellow and green covering parts of Palmdale, California, on April 10.

Other images showed bright wildflowers along Shell Creek Road in Santa Margarita on April 9, and bursts of color in the normally arid Carrizo Plain National Monument on April 4.

NASA also released an image of the desert blooming in Carrizo Plain National Monument on April 6. The image was taken by its Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9. 

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“Compared to an image taken in April 2022, the area is considerably greener and more colorful,” the space agency wrote.

Colorful wildflowers can be seen blooming on a hillside in Carrizo Plain National Monument on April 4. (Satellite image ©2023 Maxar Technologies)

The vivid scenery follows a series of powerful storms that dumped record amounts of rain and snow across California, replenishing reservoirs and bringing an end — mostly — to the state’s three-year drought.

Late last year nearly all of California was in drought, including at extreme and exceptional levels. Wells ran dry, farmers fallowed fields and cities restricted watering grass.

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“California went from the three driest years on record to the three wettest weeks on record when we were catapulted into our rainy season in January,” said Karla Nemeth, director of California Department of Water Resources. “So, hydrologically, California is no longer in a drought except for very small portions of the state.”

Super blooms are large wildflower blooms that occur sporadically in Southern California, according to NASA. 

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The agency said that University of California ecologists found 10 separate super blooms occurred in the Anza-Borrego Desert over the last four decades, with nine of the 10 blooms coming after winters that saw higher than average precipitation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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