Wired and The Conversation are Wrong, the 2023 Burning Man Rainstorm Wasn’t Caused By Climate Change

By Linnea Lueken

Playa-rainbow Jon Evans from Toronto, Canada, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Playa-Rainbow, Jon Evans from Toronto, Canada, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

From ClimateREALISM

This year, the popular music festival Burning Man, which is held in the Black Rock Desert area of Nevada, was interrupted by a rainstorm that left many participants stranded. Wired and The Conversation, among other media outlets, attributed the rain storm, as well as the heat wave the area experienced a few weeks prior, to human-caused climate change. This is false. The recent rains were made more intense by the aftermath of hurricane Hilary, and neither “monsoon” rains, nor heatwaves, are an unprecedented or even rare in the region.

In a story posted by Wired, “Climate Change Has Finally Come for Burning Man,” contributor Chris Stokel-Walker writes that the downpour that trapped many festival-goers was caused by climate change. He wrote:

Extreme weather wrought by climate change, which is resulting in increasing amounts of rain being dumped on the southwestern US states at this time of year. “These sorts of heavy summer rainfall events in the region are expected, as the well-known southwestern summer monsoon is expected to yield larger amounts of rainfall in a warming climate,” says Michael Mann, presidential distinguished professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Earth and Environmental Science.

A piece in The Conversation took a more balanced approach, pointing out that bad weather striking a festival isn’t new, that “[t]he legendary 1969 Woodstock festival in New York State was also a mud pit.”

Along with reasonably suggesting that festival planners take potential weather problems into account, The Conversation unfortunately also claims that “[a]s we heat the planet, we’re getting more frequent, intense and longer-lasting heatwaves across the world. We also know we’re seeing more and more intense short-duration downpours which cause flash flooding.”

These claims are also false.

To Dr. Mann and Wired’s credit, the summer monsoon is a real season in the southwest, and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has “high confidence” that precipitation in general has increased over the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. This has not led to more flooding, however, according to the IPCC as discussed in Climate at a Glance: Floods.

Heatwaves likewise do not appear to be getting worse in the United States, and data show that most the U.S., including parts of Nevada, have seen fewer unusually hot days, as shown in the post “Media Chases ‘Climate Enhanced’ Heat Waves, Misses Data Showing They are Less Frequent.”

Hurricane Hilary, discussed in the Climate Realism post “No, BBC, Hurricane Hilary Was Not Unprecedented,” undoubtedly had an impact on the amount of rainfall Burning Man saw this year as the remnants of the storm moved inland from its landfall as a tropical storm in Southern California.

The monsoon season is a regular event known to scientists and nearby residents. Also, this isn’t the first time Burning Man itself was disturbed by a downpour. A brief Google search reveals many articles and blog posts from as far back as 2000 that describe rain around the same time of year creating sticky, impassible mud. Anyone operates an outdoors festival in the desert Southwest during the monsoon season should not be surprised to get heavy amounts of rain on occasion.

This particularly sticky, slippery mud, is also a known feature of the dry lakebed Burning Man takes place in. Its primary composition is gypsum, silica, and bentonite-clay type dirt that can form famous white-out dust storms when dry, and soak up water and turn into particularly sticky mud when wet. When it rains – and rains hard – in the desert, a dry lakebed is not the place to be.

As discussed, many times by Climate Realismherehere, and here, for example, these kinds of drought and deluge patterns are normal for the region; desert rain does not soak easily into the ground, it runs off and collects, leading to flooding, including flash floods, which are dangerous.

While there were certainly unsafe and unsanitary conditions at Burning Man this year, the weather that led to it is not unprecedented. Burning Man has been rained out before, and none of the conditions that led to the situation can be honestly attributed to human emissions of carbon dioxide, as outlets like Wired and The Conversation are implying when they claim this kind of rainfall is indicative of climate change. Data does not show that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent or intense in the Southwestern United States. Climate change can’t be causing weather changes that data show aren’t occurring.

Linnea Lueken

Linnea Lueken is a Research Fellow with the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy. While she was an intern with The Heartland Institute in 2018, she co-authored a Heartland Institute Policy Brief “Debunking Four Persistent Myths About Hydraulic Fracturing.”

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Tom Halla
September 11, 2023 6:06 am

Dry lake beds are bloody lake beds.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 11, 2023 6:46 am

Only bloody after there have been enough pagan sacrifices of virgins etc..
Since it was not bloody one can but assume there were not enough virgins, if there were any at all, to be sacrificed.. 

Tom Halla
Reply to  nhasys
September 11, 2023 7:21 am

If you have ever met any Burners, I agree on the scarcity of virgins attending

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 11, 2023 8:12 am

I want to say something so badly.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 11, 2023 9:17 am

And the lack of discrimination of those that caused the scarcity of virgins…

Curious George
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 11, 2023 8:13 am

A dry lake bed is a remnant of a prior climate change.

JD Daily
Reply to  Curious George
September 11, 2023 1:54 pm

The Playa is a small part of a huge inland sea called Lake Lahontan. The ancestors of the native Americans lived on the shoreline for centuries. There are petroglyphs every where in the Great Basin of northern NV. At Grimes Point just east of the Fallon NAS on Hwy 50 is such an area les than a mile off the hwy. is a cave that centuries ago natives lived in. The cave entrance is a 100 feet above the gravel. Near the top of the hill approx 500′ above the cave are prehistoric geological formations that can only formed along the shoreline of brackish ponds or lakes. They are Tufas which are formed in very shallow brackish water where fresh water percolates into the brackish water body. Mono Lake is famous for its’ many huge tufas.
P.S. Besides being sticky when wet the ultra fine dust is very slippery when wet.

Reply to  JD Daily
September 11, 2023 2:55 pm

Interesting. I missed that one, but I stopped at the Museum in Lovelock which I highly recommend if one likes geology, Native American and Western U.S. history.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  JD Daily
September 11, 2023 9:36 pm

Re: “slippery”. I can attest. I think the dirt composition Linnea describes must be fairly common across much of the Colorado Plateau.

This particularly sticky, slippery mud, is also a known feature of the dry lakebed Burning Man takes place in. Its primary composition is gypsum, silica, and bentonite-clay type dirt that can form famous white-out dust storms when dry, and soak up water and turn into particularly sticky mud when wet. When it rains – and rains hard – in the desert, a dry lakebed is not the place to be.

In several backpack trips up to the plateau country above the Colorado River, my wife and I learned to be wary of any hint of clouds, as the access to trailheads is always via narrow, crowned, clay-like roads that are like glazed ice when they become wet. One trip in late February we were creeping along the crowned road leading to a trailhead above Ruby Canyon when a snowshower caught us. Fishtailing with any acceleration, I brought the car to a complete stop on the center of the crown but the car decided it wasn’t done moving and slid sideways off into a culvert. With no other vehicles passing, we spent the night there wondering what to do next. By sun up the mud had frozen solid and once we broke the lock the mud had on our wheels, we pulled right out and went along our way. Many roads surfaces on the plateau have this clay consistency.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 11, 2023 8:36 am

…are lake beds…
and they got flat by being flooded and inundated many, many times…

Ron Long
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 11, 2023 3:13 pm

Tom, I am working in Reno right now, and staying at a Motel, and the parking spots of Burners, who managed to get out of the Black Rock, is clearly marked by cream-colored mud. It’s also all over in the streets and parking lots. The local car wash services banned the Burners as the mud is sticky and plugs everything up. The problem was that Hurricane/Tropical Storm Hilliary turned north and merged with the annual north flow called the monsoon, and the rain path included the Black Rock. All completely normal.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Ron Long
September 11, 2023 3:16 pm

I saw somewhere the lake mud is mostly Bentonite clay, which is nasty to be around.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 12, 2023 12:20 pm

Some years ago a company came in drilled bore holes to check the condition of the berm around our sludge lagoon. After they got their core samples, they sealed the holes with sacks of dried bentonite powder.
Bentonite expands, and so can seal, when in contact with water.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
September 12, 2023 12:21 pm

Likely not good to inhale the powder.

September 11, 2023 7:08 am

Once again weather is called climate change.

Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
September 11, 2023 9:03 am

The ‘Climate Scientists’ have redefined climate to be only 30 years, so now the climate is always changing.

Mark BLR
Reply to  scvblwxq
September 11, 2023 10:07 am

The ‘Climate Scientists’ have redefined climate to be only 30 years, so now the climate is always changing.

Not true, the IPCC have defined “climate = 30(+) years of weather” since at least the TAR.

Each of the AR6 assessment reports has a copy of the IPCC’s “Glossary” as an Annex. For WG-I it’s “Annex VII”.

The IPCC’s entry for “Climate” (for AR6, in 2021), on page 2222 of the WG-I report :

Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the average weather, or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period for averaging these variables is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The relevant quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.

Me : “At least ‘months’ is in its plural form, but apart from that I agree”.

Their start of their entry for “Climate change”, just below the one for “Climate” :

A change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings such as modulations of the solar cycles, volcanic eruptions and persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.

Me : “Correct. Well done ! Have a biscuit …”

Their entry for “Climate extreme (extreme weather or climate event)” in the second column of text on the same page :

The occurrence of a value of a weather or climate variable above (or below) a threshold value near the upper (or lower) ends of the range of observed values of the variable. By definition, the characteristics of what is called extreme weather may vary from place to place in an absolute sense. When a pattern of extreme weather persists for some time, such as a season, it may be classified as an extreme climate event, especially if it yields an average or total that is itself extreme (e.g., high temperature, drought, or heavy rainfall over a season). For simplicity, both extreme weather events and extreme climate events are referred to collectively as ‘climate extremes’.

Me : “For simplicity ?!? FFS …”

Journalists and environmental activists (but I repeat myself …) around the world : “Yes !

Reply to  Mark BLR
September 11, 2023 8:12 pm

I don’t understand why that had to start with “Not true”. Seems like “True and been that way for a while” would fit better.

Mark BLR
Reply to  KevinM
September 12, 2023 8:26 am

I don’t understand why that had to start with “Not true”.

My idiosyncratic posting style is a more extreme form of Willis’s standard “Please copy the bit(s) you disagree with when commenting” exhortation.

The bit I highlighted in the extract at the start of my post was the “re-” prefix in the word “redefined”.

The poster “scvblwxq” claimed that “Climate Scientists” … which I, possibly incorrectly, inferred to equal “the IPCC” … had “re-defined” the word “climate” to add (/ modify ???) the criterion “only 30 years”.

Attached is a screenshot of part of page 788 of the TAR WG-I assessment report’s “Appendix I : Glossary”.

Please demonstrate exactly how the IPCC has “re-defined” the word “climate” since 2001.

I maintain that “scvblwxq”‘s claim, as originally phrased, is “Not true”.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  scvblwxq
September 11, 2023 1:25 pm

I was listening to a history of the Han Dynasty in China (202 BC – 9 AD, 25–220 AD), the other day.
One thing that gave them problems apart from nomads on the borders was the Yellow River. Because it carries and deposits sediment there are frequent floods and regular course changes. Some of which were major changes.
The BBC has any flood in China as a climate change indicator.

Gunga Din
Reply to  scvblwxq
September 12, 2023 12:25 pm

If I’m not mistaken, I could be, the 30 year period originally was never called “climate” but the 3 decades used to determine if the temps were above or below “Average”.

Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
September 11, 2023 6:49 pm

Hot weather, rain and drought is climate change. Cold weather is just weather. But everyone knows that cold weather only exists because the polar vortex is pushed away from the poles by the heat that is climate change.

September 11, 2023 7:11 am

We now have two data points where music festivals caused it to rain. There may be others unknown to us. So by climate science we can have consensus on what causes extreme rain, music festivals.

Mr Ed
Reply to  mkelly
September 11, 2023 7:40 am

In certain circles where I live cutting hay will most likely bring on clouds if
not a rainstorm..the rain gods have their needs too.

Reply to  Mr Ed
September 11, 2023 8:37 am

Just washing my car does it for me…

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 11, 2023 12:24 pm

Whenever the lawn needs mowing.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 11, 2023 2:39 pm

Ah.. you gotta be canny..

Always plan to wash the car on a rainy day.

Frank @TxTradCatholic
September 11, 2023 7:32 am

When everything is caused by “climate change”, nothing is caused by “climate change.” Sort of like racism. The constant refrains are simply faithful repetition of the Leftist Liturgy. All Hail Gaia. All Whites are Racists. All Weather is Climate Change. Etc. Etc. I wonder just how much longer the low information crowd is going to buy this snake oil? Sadly, I fear the answer is “forever.”

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Frank @TxTradCatholic
September 11, 2023 12:25 pm

Not only are all Whites racists, ONLY Whites can be racists.

Rick C
September 11, 2023 7:46 am

According to reports, the rain at Burning Man was 1/2 to 1 (12 to 25 mm) inch total. That’s hardly a massive down pour. Around here we’d say that it’s enough to keep the dust down. It’s the fact that Black Rock desert is a Playa covered in powder with no drainage that made it a muddy mess. Maybe someone should admit that the idea of having 70,000 people gather for more than a week in place with no infrastructure is not a great idea.

Reply to  Rick C
September 11, 2023 8:09 am

It’s remarkable that only 10 millennia ago that area was covered by a 150 m deep lake. I think that means it was wetter then.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Scissor
September 12, 2023 2:48 pm

There you go, jumping to conclusions, Scissor!

You’re probably one of those conspiracy theorists who thinks that just because a bunch of corrupt foreign governments gave millions of dollars to a drug-addled pervert with no business experience, it might be relevant that his father could make policy decisions about those same countries. There’s absolutely no evidence to prove that. He has not signed a written confession, even if he is on video bragging about it. Only a few people have testified to it, but it’s debunked because, because um, it’s debunked. Old news.

Reply to  Rick C
September 11, 2023 12:03 pm

I lived about 40 miles from there for four years, in the Lahauntan Valley, which if it weren’t for irrigation would be just as dry. The desert started at the back wall of my house. One day we had nearly an inch of rain (usually any rain was less than a tenth of an inch) and the ancient lake returned. It took two weeks for the water to dry up, and well over a month after that for the sticky, sticky, mud to dry out. The roads, streets, and homes were built up about a couple of feet so no one got flooded out, but no one walked out on anything that wasn’t covered in vegetation in the meanwhile.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Rick C
September 12, 2023 12:43 pm

One location’s drizzle is another location’s down pour.

J Boles
September 11, 2023 7:55 am

If it rains and there is mud, CC!, if it is dry and you have a dust storm on a dry lake bed, CC! No matter what it is always CC! WOLF! WOLF! If this is the new normal, then why report it any more? Now if you have old fashioned weather that is NOT CC, then report that.

Steve Case
Reply to  J Boles
September 11, 2023 8:26 am

Remember this one:

The U.S. coast is in an unprecedented hurricane drought – why this is terrifying –
The Washington Post August 4th 2016 LINK

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Steve Case
September 11, 2023 12:29 pm

Only unprecedented in our myopic view of the planet.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 12, 2023 12:48 pm

Everything after they put video cameras in cell phones is “unprecedented”.

Reply to  Steve Case
September 11, 2023 8:20 pm

Terrifying is an average American’s 491k balance, not a weather report.

Reply to  J Boles
September 11, 2023 8:18 pm

Warmer and wetter would have som big winners

September 11, 2023 8:06 am

What a lot of stuff and nonsense

If it rains at a festival it ain’t pretty, Glasto does it every other year

Can I say they should man up? Well, I said it.

Reply to  strativarius
September 11, 2023 8:13 am

CO2 makes that rainbow look nice.

Reply to  Scissor
September 11, 2023 2:43 pm

I doubt there were many of the “rainbow” crowd as Burning Man !

September 11, 2023 8:30 am

Story tip

Heat pumps twice as efficient as fossil fuel systems in cold weather, study finds
Doubts about whether heat pumps work well in subzero conditions shown to be unfounded, say researchers

The Guardian and the investigative journalism organisation DeSmog recently revealed that lobbyists associated with the gas boiler sector had attempted to delay a key government measure to increase the uptake of heat pumps.”

I was amused by the description of DeSmogBlog

Reply to  strativarius
September 11, 2023 8:54 am

Technically, one can say, if the electric motor winding heat is directed into the heated space, that a heat pump becomes the same thermodynamic efficiency at high inside/outside temperature difference as an electric resistance heater. The problem is that there is a big difference between thermodynamic efficiency and cost efficiency. Yes electric heat can be considered nearly 100% efficient (you know, ignoring that it is all lost to ambient eventually) and a gas furnace 90% efficient (also lost to ambient eventually)…..but, as usual, COST represents human effort, at least for normal people paid by the hour, a factor the eco innumerates don’t want to consider.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 11, 2023 8:25 pm

Sounds like capitalism. No they don’t study capitalism nowadays.

Reply to  strativarius
September 11, 2023 11:05 am

The irony is palpable.

The Guardian quotes Dr Jan Rosenow, the director of European programmes at the Regulatory Assistance Project:

“There has been a campaign spreading false information about heat pumps [including casting doubt on whether they work in cold weather]. People [in the UK] don’t know much about heat pumps, so it’s very easy to scare them by giving them wrong information.”

The same author declares:

no competing interests.

Hmmm, let’s see:

This work was funded by a grant by the Crux Alliance

The Crux Alliance was established in 2018 to support the rapid implementation of ambitious, cutting-edge climate policies, according to their website. The Regulatory Assistance Project supports the Crux Alliance.

The Regulatory Assistance Project:

The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)® is an independent, global, non-governmental organization advancing policy innovation and thought leadership within the energy community.

No competing interests my arse.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  strativarius
September 12, 2023 5:31 am

“The Guardian and the investigative journalism organisation DeSmog”

I had to LOL!

Joseph Zorzin
September 11, 2023 8:33 am

a friend sent me this- he found it on Facebook

John Oliver
September 11, 2023 8:37 am

This trend ( climate CAGW hysteria) is going to be hard to stop. At this point so many groups, organizations ,corporations , major political parties and leaders have dug themselves into both an ideological and financial hole that they cannot reverse out of without destroying all their credibility.

Reply to  John Oliver
September 11, 2023 9:10 am

NOAA here in the US forecasts that the Sunspot Number is going to start decreasing starting in 2025 going down to zero and staying there until at least 2040 when their forecasts end. The cooler sunspots are linked to hotter areas so the overall output of the Sun will be decreasing. The last time this happened was in the 1600’s when millions died from famine and the period was named the Little Ice Age.

John Hultquist
Reply to  scvblwxq
September 11, 2023 11:12 am

 The number of sunspots has been widely above the predicted value since 2020. Cycle 25 sunspots are predicted to be near Zero by Aug. 2034. The last time there were few to no sunspots was in October 2019. They didn’t stay at Zero then and there is no reason to think they will stay at Zero after the next low.
Unless there is no Cycle 26. That would be interesting.  

Curious George
Reply to  John Oliver
September 11, 2023 9:45 am

What credibility?

September 11, 2023 8:48 am

Joey Biden begs to differ…he says climate change is worse than the nuclear threat…he was sorta mumbling…but he said it. Joey is in the know – no?

Reply to  antigtiff
September 11, 2023 8:51 am

The dog faced pony soldier strikes again!

Rich Davis
Reply to  strativarius
September 12, 2023 2:58 pm

Lying Botox-faced phony poseurs

h/t Neo

Reply to  antigtiff
September 11, 2023 9:23 am

She also has the wisdom….

September 11, 2023 12:00 pm

The Triops and Fairy Shrimp seemed happy enough with the weather. Strange that they would be there if………

September 11, 2023 12:31 pm

Very nice Linnea.

September 11, 2023 12:31 pm

Linnea ==> Burning Man is held on a “salt flat”-like dry lake bed, as you point out. How do dry lake beds come into being? First, there are rains which drop water on the hills, and the water flows down to a low spot. If th elow spot is flat, then the water pools there and makes a lake, even if temporary. The rains bring mud and slit, and dissolved minerals, which, over the centuries, build up to make a “salt flat”.

The dry lake bed was formed by the rains of the U.S.’s Southwest Monsoon — a long-term part of the climate of the American Southwest. Without the SW monsoon to recharge the aquifers, like much of India/Pakistan/Bangladesh, life there would be almost impossible.

September 11, 2023 1:10 pm

Never let a good climate change attribution possibility go to waste. Of course, it requires a high degree of confidence in the ignorance of the readers. And the free spirits are busy cleaning up the mud mess with lots of “weather-generated” waters and chlorine processed public water systems.

September 11, 2023 1:15 pm

I’ll bet the tribes refused to build on dry lake beds for good reason over the generations. And wagon trains of settlers passing through watched for summer storm events before crossing and certainly not camping out there for weeks at a time.

September 11, 2023 3:24 pm

Every weather event nowadays is portrayed as evidence of a march towards doom. Idiots who don’t know the difference between weather and climate drool over the lies confirming their ignorance.

Edward Katz
September 11, 2023 6:26 pm

The types of characters that run to these sorts of festivals are inevitably in the climate alarmist camps to begin with, so naturally they would pin the blame on climate change for the flooding. Any logical explanation would have difficulty penetrating their drug-addled brains.

September 11, 2023 7:57 pm

The wired podcast is so far left politically I found it unlistenable – and Im willing to listen to some borderline material. At some point refusing to hear the leftists panic amounts to becoming a grumpy old man. Oh thank goodness the original article was not written by a grumpy old man. Is LL grumpy? I dunno she sounds cheerful on the heartland podcast.
Heartland podcasts are way better than wired.

September 11, 2023 11:14 pm

At this stage, literally every weather related event is seen as a direct result of “climate change” (or is it “global boiling” now?). This is indicative that the climate alarmist movement is a religious cult. When everything is a sign of your belief, that is not science, it is religion. It is utterly unfalsifiable, as both a cold spell and a hot spell, or a dry spell or a wet spell would be seen as conclusive evidence of “climate change”. Anyone claiming climate attribution is a charlatan.

Robert B
September 12, 2023 2:46 am

I spent a Summer at Olympic Dam mine, in Australia. We had a small dump of 20 mm which was enough to turn a clay pan used as a football field into a foot of mud. Tradition was to play a game of rugby (rugby like would be a better description) in the quagmire.

September 12, 2023 6:59 am

Regarding Hilary’s “landfall as a tropical storm in Southern California”: Please get facts correctly! Hilary made landfall onto Mexico, and crossed into California over land.

September 12, 2023 7:09 am

There is the matter of weather data for specific places and even regions having a lot of noise, and this can detract from a general principle of global warming generally increasing rainfall. And, Michael Mann got something right here (increase of rainfall and heavy rain events having increased rainfall), even though he has gotten many things wrong as part of being better at playing office politics on a grand scale than at being a scientist, and even though this effect gets overstated a lot by cherrypicking of weather data including the data being affected by changes of rain gauge technology.

Rich Davis
Reply to  donklipstein
September 12, 2023 3:09 pm

Look they can’t have it both ways. They talk about global heating causing drought at the same time that they blame flooding and heavy rainfall on ‘a warming world’.

I agree with you that the logical expectation for a warming trend is a wetter trend. Which puts the lie to the bs about global heating causing drought. Drought causes extreme heat, not the other way around.

September 14, 2023 1:31 pm

I’ve been exploring the high desert of the great basin for over 50 years. There are dozens of big playas to explore. They all have a common origin of being a dried up lake bed. They all flood some years and not others. They all defy driving on them if very wet. When the rain comes, you had better get to high ground unless you don’t mind staying awhile. I’ve seen the Alvord desert a hundred miles north of the Black Rock Desert remain flooded all winter.

You spin the wheel, you take your chances.


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