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Articles written by Bob Valen

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 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

 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Test election candidates for competence

In every stage of life we go through, there seems to be some type of test. We all faced the required tests that 12 years in school presented. There was a variety of tests for those... — Updated 5/8/2019

 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Let's hear it for evapotranspiration!

We just witnessed an event that is part of the Water Cycle on our home planet — snow melt. Though the quick disappearance of snow is not fully attributed to melt-off. There are... — Updated 4/10/2019

 By Bob Valen    Opinion

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

 By Bob Valen    News

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

 By Bob Valen    Opinion

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

 By Bob Valen    News

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

 By Bob Valen    Opinion

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

 By Bob Valen    Community

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 Full story

 By Bob Valen    Opinion

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


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