Understanding Weather Modification Patents

Weather Modification Patents

(NationRise.com) – Weather modification has been the subject of controversy in recent years, but patents containing modification methods have been around for decades. Some of these weather modification patents have been filed by the US military, science foundations, corporations and governments, although most are no longer in use.

Controlling the Weather

W C Inc. applied for US Patent US2550324A on May 7th, 1948. The patent’s title is “Process for Controlling the Weather” and was approved on April 24th, 1951. Some intended uses for this patent included:

  • Clearing the atmosphere of moisture particles that are large enough to see but not large enough to fall.
  • Controlling weather, which may cause hail damage and severe lightning.
  • Dissipating hurricanes, typhoons and other severe weather by disrupting the convection clouds that form these storms.
  • Dissipating flood-causing weather.
  • Creating desirable weather for sporting events and businesses.

Seventeen years after its publication, the patent was anticipated to expire on April 24th, 1968. The patent currently has a legal status of “Expired – Lifetime.”

Modification Methods

Robert G. Knollenberg, via the National Science Foundation (NSF), on March 25th, 1966, filed an application for US Patent US3613992A. The patent’s purpose was to claim certain methods of weather control such as the use of certain solids. Some of these solids include:

  • Potassium nitrate
  • Urea
  • Potassium nitrite
  • Ammonium nitrate

The inventions described in the patent were to be manufactured and used by the US government; however, royalties and payments were required. The invention was geared more toward the production of rain and snow by introducing certain particulates, depending on the desired outcome. The application for this patent was approved on October 19th, 1971, but it expired after 17 years. Today, the legal status of this patent is “Expired – Lifetime.”


A patent applied for by the US Air Force (USAF), US Patent US3659785A, was granted on May 2nd, 1972. The patent was designed to utilize the process of microencapsulation via seeding agents to dissipate certain weather patterns, namely fog and clouds.

Microencapsulating agents were believed more effective than previous seeding agents and were sought to aid the opening of airports, harbors and roadways, which were closed due to inclement weather. Again, 17 years after being granted, the patent reached its anticipated expiration. Today, the patent is legally “Expired – Lifetime.”


A patent had been filed by His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, in regard to the use of Royal Rainmaking Technology. The patent’s claims are simple as it covers any and all weather modifications done by Royal Rainmaking Technology. These technologies could be used to move clouds as well as “trigger” or activate cloud formation and “fatten” cloud growth.

In addition, clouds could also be “attacked” to promote rainfall. Users could accomplish this action through three different methods:

  1. Sandwich seeding, which warms clouds
  2. Glaciogenic seeding, which cools clouds
  3. Super sandwich seeding, which creates mixed-phase clouds

The Royal Rainmaking Technology can also be used to “enhance” rainfall, in which the volume of precipitation increases. US Patent US20050056705A1 also covers the process of cloud dispersion and the reduction of damaging storms, such as hailstorms. This patent was applied for on September 15th, 2003, published on March 17th, 2005, and now holds a legal status of “Abandoned.”

Concerning Idea

Weather modification, for some people, is a concerning idea. After all, there’s something about tampering with nature that makes some people uneasy, especially when it comes to being able to produce near-constant rain or snowfall. Of course, we hope that any weather modification is done in the best interest of the public. We may never really know the true extent of these experiments and tampering with Mother Nature. For now, let’s hope there are no serious consequences to our actions.

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