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Articles written by Bob Valen

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Up north, thawing permafrost causes climate change concerns

Planet Earth, our little satellite that we all call home, is composed of several broad-ranging geographic regions. Let’s add some varying climate types to those regions. Now we see how the complexities of these broad geographic regions grow. At...

 

January brings a negative, but it's been far colder

Our conversations seem to be revolving around the weather. It’s understandable, it’s been cold and wet; lots of snow on the ground, and some of our friends have been south or to Mexico and are bragging. We also have a general tendency to not like...

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion    January 11, 2017

December brings cold snap and snow

Let’s start out with a quick look back at 2016 weather, shall we? What really stands out for me in 2016 was the amount of precipitation we received. Our area averages 10.55 inches annually. Well, that changed and will likely change the overall...

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion    December 21, 2016

An abnormally warm November

There was a big change in mean temperature for the month of November, not only here but statewide. Here at the home weather station I recorded a November mean of 44.7˚F. The all-time mean temperature for November is 37.5˚, giving us a +7.2˚ differ...

 

Dry September ushers in wet October

This time of year we witness one of the two annual equinoxes. We recently passed through September or Autumn Equinox. Sept. 22 marked the moment the Sun crossed the celestial equator. Now, we are fast on our way to Winter or December Solstice,...

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion    August 17, 2016

Looking ahead and back at our weather

At this midway point in August, it may be time to look into the crystal ball of future weather to see if we can spy winter predictions. There are a few things trickling down that are somewhat intriguing. First, the Climate Prediction Center’s...

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion    July 13, 2016

June teased with heat and rain

This is a Centennial Year, and I doubt anyone has thought about celebrating with parades, picnics and fireworks. The event, a world-changing event in fact, is something we mortal folks don’t want to experience ever. The year 1816 is known as the...

 
 By Bob Valen    Community    June 15, 2016

May sets the stage for summer weather

When we think of or talk about the weather, there are times when a weather crystal ball would be really valued. Now that we are moving into the traditional months of summer – June, July and August,...

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion    May 11, 2016

April brings record snow melt

The big weather story, from my perspective, was the record-breaking snowmelt here in the Pacific Northwest. During April, western snowpack dropped at record speed, according to data from the fifth and...

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion    April 6, 2016

A wet and warming March

Let’s take a look at drought here in the West. California drought conditions have changed somewhat. Unfortunately, the state is still mostly in severe drought. The exception there is the extreme northwest corner that is showing to be drought free....

 
 By Bob Valen    Community    March 9, 2016

February on the dry side

As Washington state and the rest of the western United States continue to rebound from drought, I’ve come across a couple of interesting scientific research articles that I’m sharing here. I have two stories, one from here in the United States...

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion    January 6, 2016

Relief, a wet December

One would think with all the precipitation we had in December the drought we experienced in 2015 would be placed in the history books. Well, not just yet according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. Looks like we’ll have to see more...

 

Autumn's end brings cold

A recent discussion addressing earth’s Ice Age periods, the glaciation and the retreating of glaciers, brought the subject of climate change to the front. Earth scientists and geologists tell us the...

 

October shares needed rain

Have to admit, the rain we saw in October was really refreshing. Though the rain doesn’t take us out of the drought, it is a start. The home weather station recorded precipitation at 0.85 inches....

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion    October 7, 2015

The autumn months are here

So many folks speak of the autumn months as one of their favorite times of the year, and I’m one of them. Temperatures are moderating from the heat of summer, and there’s a bit of a chill in the morning air as leaves begin to turn those...

 

The summer that was

The synopsis for August was not very good, a reflection of the drought affecting the Pacific Northwest. Let’s start with temperatures. Our high for the month was 102.3°F on Aug. 13, and our low was 51.7°F just 10 days later. We had three days in...

 
 By Bob Valen    Community    August 12, 2015

We all know how to spell HEAT

First, let’s do a recap of temperatures and precipitation for July. I recorded four days with a high in excess of 100°F. July 2, 3, 4, and 31 were all above 100°F. The high for the month was on the 3rd at 104.1°F. Our low of the month was on the...

 
 By Bob Valen    Community    July 15, 2015

Hot, dry June breaks records

June was dry, indeed, and hot, too. Let’s start with a look at the temperatures first. The mean June temperature is 65.5°F, while here at the home weather station we had a mean of 74.9°F, a...

 
 By Bob Valen    Community    June 24, 2015

We had a "normal" May

Though our mean temperature was a bit higher for May, the month was on the normal side. We recorded a high for the month of 89.5°F and a low of 36.5°F (all-time high was 100°F in 1986 and the all-time low was 21°F in 2002). The mean was higher...

 
 By Bob Valen    Community    May 20, 2015

Defining April "dry"

Certainly, California has rewritten the definition for “dry.” Yet, here in Washington (Oregon too) we are beginning to create our own heightened definition too. On the state level, Governor...

 
 By Bob Valen    Community    April 15, 2015

Trend established, warmer than average

March continued the trend of warmth we’ve been seeing the past few months, with a mean temperature of 46.6°F, 5.5°F above the March mean. It doesn’t stop there; we had a high temperature of...

 
 By Bob Valen    Community    March 18, 2015

A warm February

Goodness, February was like the start of spring. No snow, warm temperatures and not much precipitation. Mean temperatures across the state were above normal, and generally, precipitation was about...

 

December was on the warm side

Having recently read that December 2014 was the hottest December on record, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and that 2014 was the warmest year on record, as well, I...

 

November continued the wetness

November brought more rain and a touch of snow, which put us over the mean precipitation in November by nearly a half inch, at 0.49 inches. We ended the month with a total of 1.73 inches as compared...

 

October was warmer and wetter

We received almost double the mean amount of rain for October, with 1.38 inches measured here at the home weather station. The measuring station at the dam showed 1.72 inches for October. The mean is 0.72 inches. I didn’t hear anyone complaining...

 

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