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Weather Modification Authority

Description

The powers and duties of the Weather Modification Authority are set out in N.D.C.C. Chapter 61-04.1 and include the power and duty to conduct weather modification operations to include the control, alteration, and amelioration of weather elements, including man-caused changes in the natural precipitation process, hail suppression or modification, and alteration of other weather phenomena, including clouds, temperature, wind direction, and velocity, and the initiating, increasing, decreasing, and otherwise modifying by artificial methods of precipitation in the form of rain, snow, hail, mist, or fog through cloud seeding, electrification, or by other means to provide immediate practical benefits.

In November 2000, the matter of establishing a Weather Modification Authority was put on the ballot for a vote by the public. The vote passed with about 80% yes to 20% no. A 10-year Weather Modification Authority (WMA) was initially established after the vote in 2000 and was set to expire in November 2010. After the voter approval of a WMA in November 2000, and before its expiration in November 2010, by resolution the Williams County Board of County Commissioners could choose to create (renew) the WMA for additional 5 year periods as long as it was done before expiration of the current WMA (NDCC 61-04.1-27). By resolution, the BOCC renewed the WMA for additional 5-year periods in November 2010, November 2015, and November 2020.

About Weather Modification

The state of North Dakota has annually conducted cloud seeding operations since 1961. Since 2000, the WMA has contracted with the ND State Water Commission’s Atmospheric Resource Board (ARB) for participating in the North Dakota Cloud Modification Project (NDCMP). The NDCMP is an operational program that seeds clouds for hail damage reduction and rain enhancement in western North Dakota. Counties currently participating in the program are Bowman, McKenzie, Mountrail, Williams, and part of Slope. View the 2021 Annual Report here to learn more about their recent operations.

During the cloud seeding season, tracks showing when the airplanes are seeding, in addition to where they are flying, are visible on the Stanley Radar webpage provided by the ARB. Please note you may need to zoom in on the page (whether on your phone or on your desktop browser, not the map itself) to see the tracks.

Details

Qualifications: Williams County resident
Compensation: $100 per meeting + actual expenses
Created by: N.D.C.C. § 61-04.1-27
Members: 5
Length of Terms: 5 years

Members

Member Name

Term Length

Term Ends

Jeff Knox, Chairman  5 Years 11/6/2025
Paul Weyrauch, Vice Chairman  5 Years 11/6/2025
Cierra Aamodt, Treasurer  5 Years 11/6/2025
John Hovde  5 Years 11/6/2025
Christian Marshall  5 Years 11/6/2025

Point of Contact

Lindsey Harriman, Williams County Communications & Research Analyst, WMA Secretary

P.O. Box 2047, Williston, ND 58802-2047

(701) 577-4557

 lindseyh@co.williams.nd.us

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