Articles written by Bob Valen

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 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Assaulted by prescription drug ads

Watching the evening television news is something I typically don’t do. There are a few reasons why. There is the widespread TV news edict, “If it burns or bleeds, it leads.” Next,... — Updated 4/24/2024

 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Your right to vote

We view voting as an acknowledged right here in the United States. In Washington state, we receive our ballot in the mail, we do our personal research, make our choices, and mail... — Updated 3/6/2024

 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Kids' weather knowledge boosted

Developing exciting, supplemental courses that young learners will become motivated about can be challenging. Some schools have proven that it can be done. I don’t recall any s... — Updated 4/5/2023

 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Rivers in the sky, it's real

Back on Jan. 11, Peter Funt's column appeared in The Star newspaper, titled, "Cry me an atmospheric river." The author wrote about some of the terms used in weather forecasting,... — Updated 3/1/2023


Thinking about Earth, our home planet

As we begin a new year, I thought it relevant to consider our home planet — Earth. Maybe, like you, when I view images being obtained by the James Webb Space Telescope it validates a personal observation: Earth is i... — Updated 1/4/2023

 By Bob Valen    Opinion

This winter and the past five What should we expect?

Looking over weather data from my personal weather station of the past five winters, December, January and February, were interesting, though no trends are revealed. A half decade... — Updated 12/7/2022

 By Bob Valen    Opinion

Dollar General workplace violations noted

There have been a few letters to the editor of The Star newspaper regarding the unofficial “announcement” of Dollar General Corporation being interested in establishing a store in... — Updated 11/30/2022

 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 I... — 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, cause... — 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 meteo... — 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 n... — 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 o... — 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 uns... — 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 now... — 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 t... — 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 — six... — 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


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