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Articles written by Bob Valen

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 By Bob Valen    Opinion

It's winter – let's consider drought

Before we visit the final 2021 weather data for our region, a dryer, warmer year, we will explore the subject of drought — something we’ve been experiencing for several months... — Updated 1/5/2022

 

Re: "Why progress is hard for this community" editorial Dec. 8

In a space of 7 miles Here’s a further perspective. Four communities, or neighborhoods, that have a combined population of 3,378 (current Census), a distance of 7 miles or 15 minutes from the southernmost to the northernmost... — Updated 12/15/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Study: June's heatwave was part of a bigger trend

Several interesting research efforts have provided findings about our atmosphere and its content. Here are two that I found to be noteworthy and wanted to share them here. Just... — Updated 12/8/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Winter's coming and so is a lunar eclipse

Meteorological winter starts in less than a month. Meteorologists say winter is the three-month block of December, January and February. Astronomical winter starts Dec. 22.... — Updated 11/17/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Drought, La Niña and two books

Together we have experienced another astronomical event, we are now in autumn. Temperatures are falling and many of us are breathing a slight sigh of relief. Wildfire smoke has... — Updated 10/6/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Summer ends, what will winter bring?

Before we examine what scientists are expressing about our upcoming 2021-22 winter, I want to share a recap of 2021 summer weather data. Let’s take it month by month. June ... — Updated 9/1/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Drought, the Dust Bowl and wildfires - a history

Last month we looked at our June heat wave that was created by a heat dome. The drought we are currently in was written about as well. In this column I will take a deeper dive into... — Updated 8/11/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Advances in energy sources making a difference

Like the air we breathe, electricity, that magical stuff behind the light switch, is taken for granted by a majority of people. Flip a switch, the lights come on. We are dependent... — Updated 7/14/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

June high temperature record broken

Back in June 2015, only six years ago, we had a local June high temperature record set at 105˚F. Well, with the onset of a high-pressure system, or heat dome, that sat over us in... — Updated 7/7/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Folks, it's dry - be fire wise

As we linger on the dry side of precipitation in our region, it’s prudent to check dedicated weather sources that, as part of their work, speak to near-future weather and... — Updated 6/9/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Climate normals and volcanic unrest

Climatologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s office of National Centers for Environmental Information are recalculating the nation’s Climate Normals... — Updated 5/5/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

How scientists study prehistoric weather - paleoclimatology

Here I’ve shared how scientists develop forecasts and predictions of our planet’s weather: from ground and airborne observations and data from stationary and orbiting satellites... — Updated 4/7/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

What are the polar jet stream and arctic polar vortex?

A portion of the geographic United States, specifically the Southern Plains and Gulf Coast, were hit hard in late February with unusual life-threatening winter weather. The state... — Updated 3/10/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Air: we need it – part 2

Last month we addressed the general state of air quality monitoring across the nation and more specifically here in the state of Washington and locally. To summarize, the agencies... — Updated 2/10/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Air – we need it, part one

The atmosphere that encircles our planet protects and sustains all living things. The Stratosphere is home to the Ozone layer, some 12 to 25 miles above us, protecting us from... — Updated 1/20/2021

 
 By Bob Valen    News

The Arctic is responding to climate change

A new study was recently published in the journal Science that chronicles three decades of arctic animal movements. The study is called Arctic Animal Movement Archive. There have... — Updated 12/2/2020

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

What will the Winter of 2020-2021 be like?

We aren’t out of Autumn yet and already we’ve had a reminder of winter weather. Though, our recent “winter” weather event wasn’t unprecedented. The records show that... — Updated 11/4/2020

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Smoky days and Halloween weather

Once again, we endured the intrusion of wildfire smoke into our atmosphere. The National Weather Service has taken note by releasing interesting data regarding wildfire smoke. The... — Updated 10/7/2020

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

The last glacial maximum

If you live in the Coulee, it’s likely you have an inkling of glacial history and the power that can be unleashed by glaciers. The Grand Coulee is prime evidence of glacial... — Updated 9/9/2020

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

There was almost a Grand Coulee National Park

Grand Coulee creates an image in our minds - the Grand Coulee Dam or the City of Grand Coulee, maybe the general area around the dam. Of course, the Grand Coulee, as well. However,... — Updated 8/12/2020

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Technology vs. wildland fire

We know all too well the complete destruction that wildfires can cause. Over the past several years we’ve witnessed numerous, nearby, destructive wildfires. We are not immune to t... — Updated 7/8/2020

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Flash – Boom, Lightning and Thunder!

From a respectable distance, we all enjoy watching an active thunderstorm and the lightning show. When it’s close, hopefully we’re practicing common sense and sheltering... — Updated 6/10/2020

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Hot and dry with potential for wildland fire - Better weather tech on the way

Some have asked what we can expect this summer — weather and wildfire conditions. I’ll share what the Washington state climatologist states in the most recent monthly report:... — Updated 5/13/2020

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

You, viruses and the atmosphere

Given the current threat of the Novel Coronavirus and its potential effect on humanity, I thought I’d write about viruses in general. I’ll address the fact that viruses are in... — Updated 4/15/2020 Full story

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

What is a flash drought?

I spend some time looking over weather and climate research sites. Generally, there’s something interesting that captures my attention. These are things that I like to share with... — Updated 3/18/2020

 

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