Death Valley



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Death Valley
This part of California is composed of numerous arid mountain ranges interspersed with desert valleys. The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range shelters the area from most moisture off of the Pacific Ocean, and what little precipitation falls is usually limited to the upper slopes of the mountains. This vast desert area of eastern California and Nevada is known as the basin and range area. The floor of the valley receives less than two inches of rain per year, and clear blue skies without a cloud are normal all seasons of the year. Since the valley is secluded between high arid mountain ridges, it is well sheltered from any cool breezes, so the sun heats the valley floor and rocky walls to very high temperatures. During the summer months, temperatures of 130 (50 C) are not uncommon. It seldom drops below 100 degrees even in the night.