ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The History of Weather Modification

Updated on May 21, 2014
1901 - International Congress, Hail Cannons
1901 - International Congress, Hail Cannons | Source
2007 - Hail Cannon, US
2007 - Hail Cannon, US | Source

In the Beginning

Attempts to modify the weather go back as far as the human record goes. The major shift occurred in the 1800s when practices and rituals to modify the weather began to change to using technology to modify the weather. In the picture to the right, you see what are referred to as hail cannons, which are shock wave generators claimed to disrupt the formation of hailstones in the atmosphere. These devices are still used today.

It was in the year of 1958 when the chief White House adviser on weather modification, Captain Howard T. Orville, stated that the "U.S. Defense Department was studying ways to manipulate the charges of the earth and sky and so effect the weather" by using an electronic beam to ionize or de-ionize the atmosphere over a specific area. Now, simply looking at the Wikipedia definition for weather modification proves quite interesting. Weather modification is defined as intentionally manipulating or altering the weather. The most common form of this, one that we have been conditioned to believe is normal, is cloud seeding to increase rain, snow, hail, or the 'local water supply' (insert chuckle here). The entry then goes on to mention that weather modification could also be used to prevent harmful weather or of provoking damaging weather against the enemy, as a tactic of military or economic warfare.



1966 - Project Stormfury Aviation Crew
1966 - Project Stormfury Aviation Crew | Source
Project's working hypothesis
Project's working hypothesis | Source
A Recommended National Program on Weather Modification (link to full document below)
A Recommended National Program on Weather Modification (link to full document below) | Source

Government Experiments

Project Cirrus - This project was the first attempt to modify a hurricane. It was a collaborative effort between General Electric Corporation, the U.S. Army Signal Corps, the Office of Naval Research, and the U.S. Air Force. Several parties involved were rightly skeptical about this project but the first attempt was made in October of 1947. The plane flew alongside the storm clouds that were headed west to east out to sea and dumped 180 lbs of dry ice. Next, the hurricane changed directions and made landfall near Savannah, Georgia. And here we have our first weaponized hurricane on record.

Project Stormfury - This project was an attempt to weaken tropical cyclones by flying aircraft into them and seeding with silver iodide. The project was run by the U.S. Government and went on from 1962 to 1983. It was this ongoing project that allowed the government to do the majority of their weather modification experimentation.

ESSA 1-9 Program - The Environmental Science Services Administration sent a satellite spacecraft into orbit in 1966 to capture cloud-cover activity. There were 9 different satellites launched over a period of a decade, which captured enough data to help them "predict the weather".

Project BATON - In 1962, "guinea pig" storms were selected and seeded with different chemicals for experimentation and comparison on their effect upon the weather. In 1963, Hurricane Beulah provided a perfect testing storm for this project but apparently mistakes were made and silver iodide was dropped in the wrong place. The next was Hurricane Betsy, which is surrounded by quite a bit of controversy. There was planned cloud seeding for this storm and shortly after the project began, the hurricane once again turned inland. The media ran that the project began but once news hit that the hurricane had changed directions toward the U.S., the media attempted to retract their statement and went on to claim that they never had any involvement with the sudden drastic change of Hurricane Betsy.



These are only examples from 40 or more years ago. What do you think this means for us today?

Weather Modification - History Channel

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)