North Dakota Cloud Modification Project

The North Dakota Cloud Modification Project (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.


Warm Season Cloud Seeding Science

The cloud-seeding process aids precipitation formation by enhancing ice crystal or raindrop production in clouds. This is accomplished by using glaciogenic (ice-forming) agents, such as silver iodide or dry ice. As seeding accelerates the precipitation process, the seeded cloud becomes a more efficient producer of precipitation.

Silver iodide and dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) have been selected for their environmental safety and superior efficiency in producing ice in clouds. Aircraft-borne technologies can be used to add the particles to the clouds.

To reduce the severity of a potential hailstorm, cloud seeding is used to increase competition for cloud water through the addition of more, efficient ice nuclei, and to spread the energy released by the storm over a larger area.

Warm Season Cloud Seeding graphic
Silver iodide is released in the updraft, or like dry ice, placed directly in the cloud. These particles aid in the conversion of supercooled water droplets to ice crystals and eventually snowflakes that melt and become rain.

Weather Modification Projects in North America

Weather Modification Projects in the United States and Canada
Weather Modification Projects in North America. Graphic courtesy of North American Weather Modification Council.