July 3, 2024

Talking Weather Modification

Talking Weather Modification

As a group of concerned citizens looks to add a vote on weather modification to the ballot in Mountrail County, they hosted Roger Neshem of Berthold on Tuesday, June 25, to share his story and insight into weather modification.
Growing up, he said he was also a storm chaser. As a twelve year old he can remember seeing planes go up into storms. His grandfather was a supporter of the original program which was promoted to increase rain. At that point 38 counties were part of the state’s weather modification program. In the late 70s or early 80s, a bill in the legislature allowed counties to vote to be part of the program and the state was providing 50% matching funds for the program.
Neshem says that in 2013 he called the Ward County commissioners for the first time. He says it was a wet spring with considerable rain in May. Yet when storms were in the area, the planes were up. He wanted to know why they were cloud seeding when it was already so wet. He was invited to come in and talk about it with them.
In 2016, after two large hail storms, he says he got pulled over on a county road for speeding. He called a county commissioner to discuss the speed change on the road and then asked why they were wasting money on cloud seeding. That fall he was there for the budget hearing calling for $285,000 for weather modification. The county moved to pull the item from their budget but later put it back in at a lower amount of $180,000.
2017 started out very dry, he says, and in early June a group went to the Ward County Commissioners again to express their concerns with the commissioners voting to suspend operations until the drought let up. The planes left but then came back with Neshem saying that only a weather modification board can shut down operations under the statute.
In the Spring of 2020, the Ward County commissioners put the question of weather modification to the voters. By election day, Neshem says the momentum had grown and they were feeling pretty confident that they would prevail to end weather modification in Ward County.
Neshem says that he has testified at multiple hearings and discussed his research findings that show that hail suppression decreases rainfall despite what he says weather modification says about it reducing hail and increasing rainfall. He shares his information on a number of studies and reporting regarding the science and data behind the programs. 
He is more than willing to share of the information he has collected with those interested including what he sees as the effectiveness or lack thereof of the hail suppression and cloud seeding efforts.
If you were unable to attend the meeting and would like to see the entire presentation, the Just say No to Weather Modification page has shared a link on youtube.com. They continue to collect the necessary signatures on their petitions to put the issue on the ballot in November.
 

STANLEY WEATHER