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Articles written by Bob Valen

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 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

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

2019 U.S. extreme weather recap

Since 1980, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) has tracked United States weather and climate... — Updated 2/19/2020

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

How 2019 looked weather-wise

Happy New Year to each of you, and welcome to the new Roaring Twenties! I’ll start off by gazing into the crystal ball of long-range weather prediction. The dedicated public... — Updated 1/22/2020

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

The air in our lungs

The air around us is polluted, and the level of pollution in our air varies constantly. The causes of the pollution fluctuate as well. The pollution consists of gases and... — Updated 12/13/2019

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Brrr, a short autumn?

Scientists have been coring glacial ice fields for some time now. One objective is to analyze the small atmospheric gas bubbles that got trapped as the ice formed. These gas... — Updated 11/6/2019

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Birds are in a decline

Not a day goes by that we don’t see them — if we’re looking. In the trees, on the ground and, of course, in the sky. They are at their most majestic when in flight. Soaring... — Updated 10/9/2019

 
 By Bob Valen    News

Our summer weather for 2019

This time around we’ll be looking at the historic weather results for our summer – June, July and August and the summer of 2019. We’ll also take a look-see at what is being... — Updated 9/25/2019

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Let's start paying for drug policy that works

The recent discussion about a new jail for Grant County, illegal drug use and the criminal actions created by drug users, focused my attention on a policy issue that the nation... — Updated 9/11/2019

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Arctic peatland fires affect us

As global temperatures rise (June 2019 was the hottest June ever recorded) they tend to sustain wildfires. Earlier this summer, in June and July, hundreds of long-lived, intense... — Updated 8/7/2019

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Pacific coral reefs recorded El Niño events

It seems we are stumbling along with a mix of Spring and Summer weather. Cloudy days, spats of rain and temperatures going up and down. We’ll get to the June weather data later.... — Updated 7/17/2019

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Does it really rain plastic?

The short answer to the headline – yes, it does rain plastic. Take a look around, plastic is everywhere. It’s in our everyday lives; it is, in fact, omnipresent. It is in our... — Updated 6/5/2019

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Climate change, tree rings and us

Climate change, tree rings and us Like a book of factual history, tree rings are the annual chapters of a tree’s life. Through the eyes of a trained professional, tree rings tell... — Updated 5/15/2019 Full story

 

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