Atmospheric Resource Board

The Atmospheric Resource Board (ARB) is a quasi-judicial, quasi-legislative advisory and rule-making board under the supervision of the Water Commission. ARB is co-located with the Water Commission and functions as one of its divisions. The primary functions of the ARB are to:

  • Carry out administrative procedures required for the licensing of weather modification contractors and the permitting of cloud seeding operations and research activities;
  • Develop and maintain a system for the collection of data and records of all operational weather modification activities;
  • Conduct research into atmospheric precipitation processes to assess and improve the effectiveness of cloud seeding technology;
  • Promulgate rules and regulations governing cloud seeding activities to ensure environmental and public safety;
  • Monitor and evaluate cloud seeding activities and report back to sponsoring entities; and
  • Monitor, collect, and disseminate accurate precipitation and climate data.
  • Educate and provide information regarding the atmosphere and atmospheric processes.

Notice of Intention to Modify Natural Precipitation

The ARB has requested publishing of legal notices regarding the North Dakota Cloud Modification Project in the county newspapers of the NDCMP target area and adjacent counties. Please see our News & Info page for the notice text.

The newspapers include Adams County Record, Billings County Pioneer, Bowman County Pioneer (Bowman and Slope Counties), Burke County Tribune, Dunn County Herald, Golden Valley News, McKenzie County Farmer, McLean County Independent, Minot Daily News, Mountrail County Promoter, The Herald (Hettinger County), The Journal (Divide County), and the Williston Herald.

The last publishing date by these newspapers is expected to be Friday, March 13, 2020. Therefore, the 20-day comment period will end on April 2, 2020.

Real-time Weather Radar

ARB operates weather radars at the Bowman and Stanley airports during the summer months for the NDCMP. Radar images are updated every 5 minutes 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The counties of Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Fallon (MT), Golden Valley, Harding (SD), Slope and Stark cost-share the operations of the Bowman radar for the remainder of the year.

View animations of the most recent images, or select dates and times within the last 3 months of historical data using the graphical link in the navigation section of this page. It will be to the right or on the bottom, depending on the device you are using.

Cloud Seeding Provides Significant Economic Impacts

A recent study from the NDSU Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics (Bangsund and Hodur, 2019) describes the significant economic benefits cloud seeding provides to agricultural production in the western North Dakota counties of Bowman, McKenzie, Mountrail, part of Slope, Ward and Williams. Average annual benefits for the nine crops included in the study range from $12.20 to $21.16 per planted acre for the years 2008-2017. Considering cloud seeding operations cost about $0.40 per planted acre, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

The Atmospheric Reservoir


Thunderstorm and flanking line
Thunderstorm and flanking line

Read the latest article examining the atmosphere and atmospheric resource management in the North Dakota Water magazine. Articles are published 10 times a year, monthly except February and August.

ARB Recruiting Observers to Report Precipitation

We are recruiting volunteers to observe and report precipitation across North Dakota. Volunteers have the option of participating in the ARB Cooperative Observer Network (ARBCON), either year-round, or only during the months of April-September. If you or someone you know have any interest in volunteering, contact us at (701) 328-2788, or via email.