A Christmas miracle fell upon Joshua Tree National Park last week: the dry landscape was covered in a layer of rare white snow as a storm passed through California.
On December 26, a blanket of white temporarily covered Joshua Tree. Temperatures regularly fall below freezing in the desert so typically, Joshua Tree only receives about 5.5 inches of precipitation per year. But this time, it came during the most wonderful time of the year.
Last week’s storm brought precipitation and combined with the winter temperatures so those who trekked through Joshua Tree after Christmas were treated to a rare sight.
rare snowstorm in Joshua Tree today pic.twitter.com/EnZF51u2K5— Andy Preikschat, CFA (@AndyPreikschat) December 26, 2019
Rangers said it was the most snow the park had seen since 2010, although there has been minor snowfall in the years between.
Desert snow! Big flakes in Joshua Tree National Park yesterday 😶 My friend who took this says rangers haven’t seen this much snow in the park since 2010. Major impacts are expected in the Central U.S. from this storm. More on @WeatherNation pic.twitter.com/R7W2PAoj6Y— Rob Bradley (@WxRobBradley) December 27, 2019
Joshua Tree wasn’t the only national park to have a rare snowfall last week. Arches National Park closed over the weekend due to snow and ice accumulation, however snow-lovers still got their fun in. The park's Twitter account kept visitors posted on its closing times.
Good morning @SLESeahawks from Arches National Park! My mom and I spent the day yesterday hiking to different arches through the snow. It was beautiful! ❄️ @collierschools #CCPSFamily #optoutside @archesnp pic.twitter.com/j1y6mIHN3A— Katie Schneider (@KPSchneider9) December 30, 2019
And 25 miles of State Route 64 in Grand Canyon National Park were closed due to snowfall.
Below-normal temperatures are expected in the area for the next few days, although temperatures could return to normal by the end of the week. According to the National Weather Service, precipitation has slowed down.