Weather Modification

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The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) is reviewing the Weather Modification  rules (Title 16, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 79) for re-adoption, revision, or repeal.

The Department will determine whether the reasons for adopting or readopting these rules continue to exist by answering the following questions for each rule:

  • Is it obsolete?
  • Does it reflect current legal and policy considerations?
  • Is it in alignment with the current procedures of the Department?

The Weather Modification Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m. in the 1st Floor Public Meeting Room (125E) of TDLR's North Campus, located at 1106 Clayton Lane in Austin. The agenda will be posted when it is set. The meeting will be broadcast live on TDLR's web site.

The Weather Modification Advisory Committee met November 6 in Austin. The agenda is available. The meeting was archived and is available on TDLR's web site.

Weather Modification - Cloud-seeding activities are widespread in much of West and South Texas during the growing season, which extends from early spring until early autumn each year. The seeding is done exclusively for rainfall enhancement using aircraft and sophisticated weather radar data. Decisions to deploy aircraft and disperse seeding materials (both silver iodide and salts) are made by skilled meteorologists licensed by TDLR specifically for weather modification. Aircraft are based at airports in disparate locations within the “target” areas of these projects, i.e. where the impact of seeding (more rainfall from thunderstorms) is intended.

TDLR’s weather modification program issues licenses and permits for these projects, most of which have been in operation 15 to 20 years. The licenses attest to the credentials and experience of the meteorologists who direct the seeding operations, while the permits pertain to specific regions where seeding is intended and where aircraft may operate. A licensee may conduct more than one project, each of which requires a specific permit be issued before seeding can begin. The aim of regulating weather modification in Texas is to ensure that various methods of modifying the weather do not dissipate clouds nor inhibit their ability to produce rainfall to the detriment of people or property in the affected areas.

TDLR’s program also assists individuals, organizations and governmental bodies in the design of cloud-seeding operations, as well as monitoring ongoing seeding activities to ensure compliance with permits and helping to evaluate the impact of the seeding on “target” and neighborhood areas. It also administers federal grants for exploratory, and confirmatory, cloud-seeding studies and shares information on technological advances with other State agencies, organizations, and interested individuals.

Weather Modification Regulation

All individuals and organizations intending to conduct weather modification activities are required to obtain a weather modification license and permit from the TDLR. George Bomar (512-936-4313; George.Bomar@tdlr.texas.gov) is the contact person at TDLR for information on, and assistance with, the licensing and permitting of weather modification operations.

The Department relies on its staff, as well as the Weather Modification Advisory Committee, for recommendations on applications for weather modification licenses and permits. The Committee, consisting of an engineer, businessmen, attorney at law, and agricultural producer, meets quarterly, usually in Austin, to review applications for licenses and permits.

For more information about the weather modification program, e-mail TDLR at weather.modification@tdlr.texas.gov.