LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s official – Aug. 5, 2022, has been recognized by the National Weather Service (NWS) as the rainiest day in recorded Death Valley history.

Initially, the NWS announced the park received 1.46 inches of rain, measured by an automatic gauge. The agency now recognizes a gauge that park rangers manually measured 1.7 inches of rain.

For many people in the U.S. 1.7 inches of rain is a normal day, in Death Valley it equates to approximately 75% of the park’s average annual rainfall.

This rain event led to the park being closed for days with around 1,000 visitors and workers trapped for days because roads had been washed-out.

Since then the National Park Service and Caltrans have opened Highway 190 (CA-190), Dantes View, Badwater Road (only from CA-190 to Badwater), and Artists Drive. Hotels, restaurants, and gas stations.

Federal Highways Administration has agreed to pay to clear debris and fill in road gaps on several major park roads that are currently closed. This work will allow the NPS to open Beatty Cutoff Road, North Highway, Badwater Road (from Badwater to Shoshone), and Mud Canyon Road.

No timeline is available yet. These initial repairs will allow standard passenger cars to drive on the roads, which will have gravel sections where pavement is missing.  

This weekend the temperature at the park will soar to over 120°F, but not break the all-time temperature of 134°F (57°C) recorded on July 10, 1913.