Articles written by Bob Valen

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 By Bob Valen    News    April 18, 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 damp. Given where we...

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    February 7, 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 personal interests...

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    January 3, 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 sunset. When we arrive at...

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    December 13, 2017

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 at what winter may...

 By Bob Valen    News    November 8, 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 nature. Of concern in...

 By Bob Valen    News    October 11, 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. First, let’s take a...

 By Bob Valen    News    September 6, 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 the North America...

 By Bob Valen    News    August 16, 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 eclipse events. The s...

 By Bob Valen    News    August 16, 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 there, nothing to...

 By Bob Valen    News    July 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 Register or the National... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Community    July 12, 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, some Colonists and... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    June 21, 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 jungle dwellers,... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    June 7, 2017

Can trees migrate?

Really, do trees migrate? The answer is a yes. A little clarification here, though; trees don’t actually move themselves. What does occur: tree populations can shift over time. A recent study confirms that, over the past three decades, trees in... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Community    May 10, 2017

Wet, wetter and wettest

We certainly aren’t seeing the amount of rainfall that the Olympic Peninsula receives with an annual average of 140 inches a year. Yet, we have been wet here in our region of the state. With all... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    April 5, 2017

Is partisan science any good?

Rain! We’ve had a decent amount of it in the past year. I measured a total of 15.21 inches of precipitation at my home weather station in 2016. Rain is just one of many forms of precipitation. It’s part of the water cycle, more properly the... Full story


Up north, thawing permafrost causes climate change concerns

Planet Earth, our little satellite that we all call home, is composed of several broad-ranging geographic regions. Let’s add some varying climate types to those regions. Now we see how the complexities of these broad geographic regions grow. At... Full story


January brings a negative, but it's been far colder

Our conversations seem to be revolving around the weather. It’s understandable, it’s been cold and wet; lots of snow on the ground, and some of our friends have been south or to Mexico and are bragging. We also have a general tendency to not like... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    January 11, 2017

December brings cold snap and snow

Let’s start out with a quick look back at 2016 weather, shall we? What really stands out for me in 2016 was the amount of precipitation we received. Our area averages 10.55 inches annually. Well, that changed and will likely change the overall... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    December 21, 2016

An abnormally warm November

There was a big change in mean temperature for the month of November, not only here but statewide. Here at the home weather station I recorded a November mean of 44.7˚F. The all-time mean temperature for November is 37.5˚, giving us a +7.2˚ differ... Full story


Dry September ushers in wet October

This time of year we witness one of the two annual equinoxes. We recently passed through September or Autumn Equinox. Sept. 22 marked the moment the Sun crossed the celestial equator. Now, we are fast on our way to Winter or December Solstice,... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    August 17, 2016

Looking ahead and back at our weather

At this midway point in August, it may be time to look into the crystal ball of future weather to see if we can spy winter predictions. There are a few things trickling down that are somewhat intriguing. First, the Climate Prediction Center’s... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    July 13, 2016

June teased with heat and rain

This is a Centennial Year, and I doubt anyone has thought about celebrating with parades, picnics and fireworks. The event, a world-changing event in fact, is something we mortal folks don’t want to experience ever. The year 1816 is known as the... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Community    June 15, 2016

May sets the stage for summer weather

When we think of or talk about the weather, there are times when a weather crystal ball would be really valued. Now that we are moving into the traditional months of summer – June, July and August,... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    May 11, 2016

April brings record snow melt

The big weather story, from my perspective, was the record-breaking snowmelt here in the Pacific Northwest. During April, western snowpack dropped at record speed, according to data from the fifth and... Full story

 By Bob Valen    Opinion    April 6, 2016

A wet and warming March

Let’s take a look at drought here in the West. California drought conditions have changed somewhat. Unfortunately, the state is still mostly in severe drought. The exception there is the extreme northwest corner that is showing to be drought free.... Full story


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