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.

Real-time Radar from Bowman

ARB operates a weather radar at the Bowman airport all year. For 8 months of the year, the counties of Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Fallon (MT), Golden Valley, Harding (SD), Slope and Stark cost-share the operations of the radar. Radar images are updated every five minutes 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

View animations of the most recent images, or select dates and times 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.

NDCMP introduces “Seeding Tracking”

Starting in June 2018, airplane tracks will now show when airplanes are seeding in addition to where they are flying. GPS tracks will show individual colors when airplanes are flying and not seeding and will turn gold when seeding. The only exception will be when displaying “ejectable flares”, which will be denoted by an asterisk. GPS flight tracking of airplanes on the North Dakota Cloud Modification Project (NDCMP) has been provided on project radar images since 2004.

Some caution should be used when interpreting the seeding tracks. Seeding generators mounted on the aircraft wings utilize a switch that detects heat generated by combustion of the liquid seeding solution. This may cause a short delay in displaying the startup and shutdown of the seeding equipment, resulting in small placement errors of the seeding track.

NDARB is pleased to provide this new information to the public and hopes it will help clarify the operations aircraft are conducting.

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.

Cloud Seeding Has Big Economic Impact in Western ND

Cloud Seeding Aircraft
Cloud Seeding Aircraft

A recent study by Dean Bangsund and Dr. Larry Leistritz at North Dakota State University shows the North Dakota Cloud Modification Project is providing a major impact to the western ND agricultural economy.