With all the rain and snow this year in the Golden State, speculation around the possibility of a California “superbloom” has been running rampant. Superblooms, for those unaware of the term, are a rare phenomenon that occur in the deserts of California and the American Southwest when highly concentrated patches of wildflowers bloom all at once due to unusually high rainfall.
That said, superblooms take a lot more than just a ton of rain to occur. They need all that rain to come on the heels of a year or two of low moisture so the concentration of ungerminated (un-sprouted) seeds can build up. They need gently warming temperatures so the desert sun doesn’t fry the delicate sprouts before they can bloom – and a whole host of other factors. With that in mind, while California received the rain this year, there was no way of knowing if the other factors would line up to produce a spectacular superbloom event until the flowers started blooming.
Oh wow, the wildflowers are blooming in California! Here is Carrizo Plain. Can almost smell them from 500km up! pic.twitter.com/gb8jgn6p9D
— Will Marshall (@Will4Planet) April 9, 2023
Well, a few days ago, it became obvious that 2023 would indeed be a superbloom spring, with enormous patches of California poppies, lupine, desert sunflowers, and more cropping up across the state. Some of the brightly colored patches are even visible from space – check out the above tweet from Will Marshall, CEO of Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based satellite-data company, whose satellites have captured stunning imagery from 300 miles up.
The location, Carrizo Plain, is a known superbloom location, but it’s not the only one that’s lighting up this year. To check out a superbloom near you, tune in to your local news, and be sure to follow all the proper guidelines and regulations when visiting a superbloom location to ensure these marvelous flowers are preserved for future visitors as well.