Southern California’s dry winter isn’t good for wildflowers and that’s OK with officials in the city of Lake Elsinore where last spring’s “super bloom” of poppies drew huge crowds.
Riverside County parks official Dustin McLain tells The Press-Enterprise the chances of a super bloom in Walker Canyon this year are small because January was dry and February has started off the same way.
Lake Elsinore’s mayor is hoping the big bloom doesn’t occur because of its overwhelming impact on the community, the paper reported.
Last March, throngs of people flocked to Walker Canyon, jamming Interstate 15 for miles in both directions. There were 50,000 visitors in one weekend alone, according to the city.
Lake Elsinore struggled to deal with the crush of tens of thousands of visitors who came to see the colorful flowers, with officials calling it a “poppy nightmare.”
The super bloom was a result of record-breaking rainfall that drenched the Southland last winter.
This year, with a significantly dry winter, just over 9.5% of the state, including the central and southern Sierra Nevada and adjacent areas of the Central Valley, are in moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
“Poppies are germinating, but without substantially more rain in the next couple of months they do not believe it will be a super bloom similar to what was experienced last year,” city officials said on Instagram, citing county botanists.
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#SuperBloom Update: This week, we are starting to see some poppies blooming in Walker Canyon area. According to Riverside County botanists poppies are germinating, but without substantially more rain in the next couple of months they do not believe it will be a super bloom similar to what was experienced last year. The City and County continue to monitor the area regularly and are getting prepared should we face challenges again this year. #LakeElsinore
#PoppyUpdate: The City has started receiving inquiries about the poppy bloom. At the moment, there are NO visible wildflowers in the Walker Canyon area. The trail is open.
— City Lake Elsinore (@CtyLakeElsinore) January 31, 2020