The climate of Death Valley (California
- United States of America)
Death Valley is a valley located at an altitude of 85.5 meters (280.5
ft) below sea level in Death Valley Park in the eastern part of the
state of California. Because the valley is surrounded by mountains it
is very hot and dry here. Death Valley has a warm desert climate (type
Bwh according to the Köppen climate classification) and is among the
hottest places on earth. During the summer daytime temperatures rise
up to 45-50 degrees Celsius (113-122 degrees Fahrenheit) in the shade.
These temperatures are hardly bearable if you do not have an air
conditioned car. If you want to take pictures or take footage of this
area bear in mind that the lens of your camera will become steamy as
soon as you take it out of your car. Depending on humidity figures and
the time of day your camera may need 10-25 minutes to acclimatize.
When it is really hot your camera may even refuse to work. A very
unique phenomenon which occurs at Racetrack Playa in Death Valley are
the moving rocks. These so called Sailing Stones weigh up to hundreds
of kilograms and move over the plains. Each rock follows its own path.
There still is no scientific explanation for this phenomenon. Several
hypotheses exist but the origins of stone movement are not confirmed.
Death Valley only gets 40-50 millimeters (1.3-1.5 inches) of annual
precipitation, most of which falls during the winter. During the hot
summers precipitation is uncommon. How strange it may seem during the
winter snow may fall in Death Valley. In the colder months December,
January and to a lesser degree November and February snowfall is not
uncommon. During the winter subzero temperatures during the night are
not uncommon either.
The figures below are based on long term weather and climate records.
They are an average for Death Valley:
hours of sunshine
average days with
= 0-5 mm ●
= 6-30 mm ●
= 31-60 mm ●
= 61-100 mm ●
= 101-200 mm ●
over 200 mm = 0-0.2 inches ● = 0.2-1.2 inches ● = 1.2-2.4 inches ● = 2.5-4 inches ● = 4.1-8 inches ● = over 8 inches
More climate information
Climate figures are very useful but don’t present a general impression
of the climate and the eventual weather circumstances within a certain
period. The figures don’t always reflect the chance of wintry weather,
extreme heat or hurricanes. That is why we offer useful extra climate
information for each month of the year:
The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.