Articles written by bob valen
Sorted by date Results 26 - 50 of 110
Really, spring will arrive, really
With all the snow occupying our landscape, it’s hard to image spring at all. Be assured that it will arrive; in fact, March 20 will bring vernal, or spring, equinox. It’s that... — Updated 3/6/2019
Look, up in the sky, it's a polar vortex!
It caused a great uproar in the news media and with those living in parts of Canada and the U.S. The Upper Midwest felt the effects of the ever-present Polar Vortex. TV news... — Updated 2/6/2019
The year in weather – 2018
I’ve lost track of how many years I’ve been writing this monthly column about our weather, and climate and related issues and events. One thing I do like — and I admit I’m... — Updated 1/16/2019
What's your winter favorite - ice or snow?
Each of us can recall severe storms we’ve lived through. Major thunderstorms with crashing lightning and heavy rain and hail. Wind events, not unlike some we’ve had right here... — Updated 12/5/2018
Sailing on top of the world – Part 2
In the last column, I wrote about the physical changes occurring in and around the Arctic Ocean. Those changes are occurring due to climate change. Shipping lanes are being used... — Updated 11/7/2018
Sailing on top of the world
Commerce, likely many other things, is dependent on current weather and long-term climate. Our regional wheat growers know that our climate is conducive to their work and... — Updated 10/27/2018
The trouble with historical fire comparisons
Can you feel it? That seasonal change is coming — tree leaves are starting to turn color, temperatures are dropping a little. The official day for Autumn Equinox is Sept. 22 this... — Updated 9/13/2018
News is like food – nutritious or junky
Morgan Spurlock, a documentary filmmaker, went on a 30-day McDonald’s fast-food diet and he ended up with health problems. He documented his feast in his film “Super-Size Me.... — Updated 9/5/2018
El Niño and the ENSO
In past columns I’ve talked about the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), or as some call it, the Southern Oscillation. Let me briefly review what this thing does. There are... — Updated 8/8/2018
Shimmering clouds and good wine
Last week I got an email with a photo showing a cloud that had erupted into a rainbow of color. There is a name for what happened: it’s called cloud iridescence or irisation.... — Updated 7/3/2018
Let's hear it for our oceans!
Let’s start off with some facts about our oceans: The Earth’s oceans cover 71 percent of its surface and contain 97 percent of the Earth’s water. Less than 1 percent of the... — Updated 6/6/2018
The Climate Divide is changing
In 1878, John Wesley Powell, solider, geologist, explore and professor, placed an imaginary longitudinal line on a map based on his exploration observations. That line, he... — Updated 5/16/2018
This cool, damp weather will change, really
Yep, I’ve heard the comments: “When will it warm up; when will it stop raining?” It will, really. This spring seems to be similar to last year’s in some ways — cool and... — Updated 4/18/2018
January sputters with odd weather
Winter months are great for offering up some reading time. We all find that comfortable, well-lit spot, a drink (your choice) and a great book — maybe some great music, too. My... — Updated 2/7/2018
Winter Solstice has passed - now more daylight
With the passage of Winter Solstice, we will start gaining more daylight. It’s not that noticeable; it’s measured initially in about one minute each day, and that’s at... — Updated 1/3/2018
And the snow fell, a little
Early November teased us a little bit with measurable snowfall that apparently has stalled. Not to worry, ski fans and snow junkies, it will snow again. I spent some time looking... — Updated 12/13/2017
Do we really know our air quality?
Air quality alerts are common in many regions of the world. The United States experiences air quality alerts regularly too. The causes are wide ranging and many are seasonal in... — Updated 11/8/2017
What will winter bring?
I’ve licked my finger, held it up to the air; now I can tell you what winter will bring. If only it were that simple! So, let me share what is being stated by our federal agencies that work in the arena of weather prediction.... — Updated 10/11/2017
Is drought development likely?
It’s looking like we may be starting a long dance with drought — maybe. It’s still a bit too early to call it a long-term drought. As we enter into fall and then early winter we should have a better understanding. Looking at... — Updated 9/6/2017
Today, the sky will darken ominously!
With the impending solar eclipse very close, it's nice to know the science of what is happening; humanity doesn't react to the old mythologies that surrounded past solar or lunar ec... — Updated 8/21/2017
This dehydrated July was one of very few
You can almost hear the ground gasping with a slow, agonizing, parched voice, pleading for some water. A bit dramatic, I guess. Certainly, it has been dry around and in the Coulee. There were some recent isolated showers here and... — Updated 8/16/2017
General Washington saved by winter weather
Recently, I came across an interesting story about spies, kidnappings and winter storms. It was all happening during our war for independence from the British more than two hundred years ago. The characters are many, some British,... — Updated 7/12/2017
State preservation council meets in Coulee Dam
The Washington State Governor's Advisory Council on Historic Preservation met in Coulee Dam Town Hall June 27 to address eight nominations to either the Washington Heritage... — Updated 7/12/2017
Fake news about the jungle!
Reading the recent piece about the circus visit, I found a statement to be two-thirds correct. “Jungle cats” is a misleading title for the three big cats that are part of the circus. Lions, specifically African lions, are not... — Updated 6/21/2017