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Articles written by Bob Valen

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 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Contemplating what nuclear winter would mean

Join me on a deep dive into the limited use of Tactical Nuclear Weapons. You ask, why this subject, it’s just unthinkable! Unthinkable yes, though it is plausible. The questions... — Updated 11/2/2022

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Asteroids and winter 2022-23

Wondering why NASA sent a car-sized satellite to crash into an asteroid? Let’s take a look and see why. An “impact event” is when an astronomical object, like an asteroid,... — Updated 10/5/2022

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Summer 2022 in Review

We just completed Summer 2022. Before you say, “wait, summer isn’t over yet,” let me remind you there are two ways to look at our seasons. The information here is based on... — Updated 9/14/2022

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Citizen Science, ENOS and weather disasters

This month I'll start with an interesting research project. The study involved data gathered more than 200 years ago. For the period of 1826 through 1872, citizens in New York... — Updated 8/3/2022

 
 By Bob Valen    News

Here's what it takes to put out our local weather forecast

There are some who have what it takes. I'm not talking about outstanding pro athletes, astronauts, or mountaineers. I am talking about weather forecasters. I recently visited the... — Updated 7/12/2022

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Weather Forecasting - Part One

Our weather forecasts originate from the National Weather Service. How you get your weather forecast varies a lot. There are numerous weather phone apps. All television and radio... — Updated 6/8/2022

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

In anticipation of summer, consider our drought

With the wildfires burning in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, one would think we were in summer fire season already. Though, the reality is, it’s mid spring, and fire season is... — Updated 5/4/2022

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Weather and our mood

Spring has arrived! We all are feeling the relief from the overcast, damp, and cold winter weather; it’s behind us once again. Spring is here and summer is fast approaching. Some... — Updated 4/13/2022

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

The spectacle of lightning

We’ve all seen the flash of lightning and heard the aftermath of the lightning bolt — the loud clap of thunder. There are three basic elements needed to form lightning. An... — Updated 3/2/2022

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion

What about those volcanic gases?

The recent eruption of the Tonga volcano was captured by various geostationary satellites showing us the size and scale of that eruption. The eruption plume was about 162 miles in... — Updated 2/9/2022

 
 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

 

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