Torrential rains in California make way for rare temporary lake in Death Valley National Park

The recent atmospheric river storms that drenched Southern California to start the year have caused severe flooding across the region, including at Death Valley National Park, where there now exists a rare body of water.

Death Valley National Park is home to the lowest elevation in North America – 282 feet below sea level at Badwater Basin – and is also the site of the world’s hottest recorded temperature, so a lake forming in the area is not something that happens very often, National Park Service officials say.

Police release photo of man allegedly involved in Koreatown bus fight that left a man dead

“You might think with no drain to the sea that Death Valley would always have a lake,” park ranger Abby Wines said in a press release. “But this is an extremely rare event. Normally, the amount of water flowing in is much less than the evaporation rate.”

The reason for the lake’s appearance? Lots and lots of rain.

Death Valley normally averages about two inches of rainfall per year, according to the National Park Service, but the valley floor has received 4.9 inches of rain in the last six months, with surrounding mountains seeing even more rain.

Man seen apologizing to victims from stretcher following possible DUI crash in Long Beach

The lake, now informally known as Lake Manly, is about six miles long, three miles wide and a foot deep as of mid-February, NPS says. It may only be deep enough to kayak for a couple of weeks.

Paved roads are open to most of the park’s primary features, including the temporary lake at Badwater Basin, national park officials said.

Secondary roads, many of which remain closed due to flood damage, continue to be worked on.

More information can be found here.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KTLA.