Jeff Popick

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Wild weather week as winds over Blues blow up temp records

The Walla Walla Valley did little to diminish its well-known reputation for meteorological drama last week as once again the area was subjected to a wide and wild variety of weather — both welcome and unwelcome.

Tears of Niners fans presage more 'weepy' weather

It was a wet and weepy week in the Walla Walla Valley — particularly for your weatherperson. Nearly four-tenths of an inch of rain fell late Friday into early Saturday morning, effectively melting the last few patches of ice from a couple of freezing rain events earlier in the week. The pelting rain Friday night was mirrored by your forecaster’s own copious flow of tears resulting from a thoroughly embarrassing declawing suffered by his Arizona Wildcats earlier that evening at the hands (feet?) of the University of Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game.

Chill drives football fans, grapevines into seasonal dormancy

It was a long weekend of football and food — just as Thanksgiving should be — and the sudden change in the weather late Friday night and Saturday argued eloquently for a couple of days firmly planted on the couch with a warming fire, the girlfriend and dogs close by.

Temperatures, weather take swing at Valley

Your weatherperson was shocked and dismayed to discover a letter to the editor excoriating him for disseminating faulty information in last week’s column. He was fully expecting messages of profound gratitude for expelling hot air in sufficient quantities to produce the putative 10-degree inversion upon which the complainant relied to warm his vines so nicely. (The claim, by the way, seriously stretches the bounds of one’s meteorological credulity given the particular circumstances of the evening(s) in question.)

Valley, grapes mostly evade worst of cold, snowy conditions

After one of the warmest Octobers and early Novembers on record, Mother Nature played a nasty trick on the Pacific Northwest last week as a deep and frigid intrusion of arctic air descended on the area, bringing snow and record-low temperatures to many locations.

Temps, snow to get the drop on Valley

What a difference a week makes! If it wasn’t bad enough to watch Republicans overrunning the U.S. Senate and House like Marshawn Lynch over (and through) the New York Giants, our beautifully mild and benign fall weather has gone with the wind, along with many Democrats — neither of which may be seen again in these parts for a very long time. The blame for it all can be squarely laid at the feet of a superpowered invader from the Far East.

November gets a non-chilly reception

All the teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling, name-calling and back-stabbing will finally come to an end today, at least temporarily. The waiting, the wondering and the wailing will cease — for a time — and we will move on, no matter what the outcome.

Rain could be among tricks on Halloween

It was variety week weather-wise in the Walla Walla Valley, with the meteorological manipulator upstairs virtually offering up something for everybody. Rain totaling nearly one-third of an inch fell over our abnormally dry region, followed by a thick fog that settled in on Friday night. This remained densely draped across the area until well into Saturday afternoon, with visibility hovering around one-quarter of a mile for the better part of the day until brisk southerly winds swept it all away.

Coming rain could spell doom for still-unpicked grapes

Your weatherperson recently received a lime sherbet-colored envelope, which means two things: one, November weather will soon be upon us; and two, we will shortly be delivered from the incessant noise and visual pollution emanating from a certain local sheriff’s race that has been only slightly less annoying than a home invasion by a horde of brown marmorated stink bugs, and about as compelling as a rebroadcast of the 1999 six-day bicycle race from Perth Amboy, N.J. Your fed-up forecaster has chosen to write in Ed Grimley, who seems exactly the right guy for the job, I must say.

Calm to return after early-week bluster

Our newborn fall season received an almost immediate baptism last week as more than four-tenths of an inch of rain fell at the Walla Walla Airport from a vigorous Pacific cold front and low pressure system that passed across the state. Vintners and vineyard managers (along with a few local meteorologists) were surprised by the unexpectedly robust nature of the rain event and a bit alarmed that it might lead to rot and mold issues in their grapes. But the moisture that fell on the fruit did not persist long enough to cause anything other than a minor inconvenience for most.

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