Lightning strike during the eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala, a few days ago…

Well, science is in the news again.  Once again they are coming out and telling people they are controlling the weather.  But, many people just can not see or hear the truth.  So many truthers are out hear, telling you what they are doing to our environment, but you rather believe their lies.  Rather accept the blame for “climate change” and “TRUST THE SCIENCE”.  Folks, they have been geo-engineering our environment for decades.  The “Scientists” are the ones who are destroying our earth, our atmosphere, our bodies with their hidden experiments.  They call us “conspiracy theorists” and you believe them when they deny everything.  

Now, things are getting out of their control.  More and more people are waking up and seeing through their lies.  More nations are reaching a level of technology where they can do their own experimenting.  Now, we have multiple nations messing with nature and playing with things without knowing the affect it will have.  The US can no longer pretend these technologies do not exist because other nations have no problem coming right out and declaring they do.

Every day more and more, truth is coming to light.  All the things that “Conspiracy Theorists” have been calling out all these years, are being revealed as TRUE CONSPIRACIES.  No theories anymore.

Today we should be able to put to rest one more.  There is enough truth in this post to prove that Weather Manipulation is real and has been going on at some level for decades.

My question is, if their true intent was to protect us from the effects of bad weather… WHY EXTEME WEATHER become so much more violent, destructive pervasive and prolific  in the same time frame?

For more information on Lighting, check out my earlier posts:

Weaponized Lightning – Eye Opening Truth



Lightning History – National Weather Service

Recently some scientists have concluded that lightning may have played a part in the evolution of living organisms. Nobel prize winning chemist Harold Urey proposed that the earth’s early atmosphere consisted of ammonia, hydrogen, methane, and water vapor. One of his students, Stanley Miller, used an electric spark to duplicate lightning and introduced it into the chemical brew. He was careful to excluded any living organisms from the experiment. At the end of a week, he examined the mixture and found it contained newly-formed amino acids, the very building blocks of protein. Did lightning play a role in creating life itself? Science now is pushing the envelope of lightning’s secrets. More has been learned about this transient phenomenon in the past decade than in the preceding 250 years since Franklin’s “kites and keys” experiments. Stay tuned…

Early Greeks believed that lightning was a weapon of Zeus. Thunderbolts were invented by Minerva the goddess of wisdom. Since lightning was a manifestation of the gods, any spot struck by lightning was regarded as sacred. Greek and Roman temples often were erected at these sites, where the gods were worshipped in an attempt to appease them.  Video from Jim_Crenshaw

Weather Engineering

Weather Engineering, Weather Control, Climate Engineering or Geoengineering is the deliberate manipulation or alteration of the environment for the purpose of changing the weather. In 1977 the Environmental Modification Convention (ENMOD) was signed, which prohibits such influence for military or negative purposes. However, this convention has been signed by only 73 countries in 2007, although all the major powers have signed it.

Weather manipulation is the act of altering the environment to produce changes in the weather. It aims to prevent extreme weather and natural phenomena such as hurricanes or tornadoes; to produce weather for the benefit of humans, such as rainfall in a drought area; and to provoke a natural disaster against an enemy or rival for tactical, military and economic warfare strategies such as Operation Popeye, where clouds were seeded to prolong the monsoon in Vietnam. Weather modification in warfare has been banned by the United Nations under the Environmental Modification Convention.The targeted influencing of weather serves to create locally desired weather conditions or to ward off harmful weather or weather influences on people or on valuable facilities. For influences that are expressed more or less unintentionally as a product of human activity according to natural law, see climate change.

Legal Situation & Law

United Nations Convention on Modification of the Environment

Weather manipulation was addressed in the “United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 31/72, TIAS Convention 961426 on the prohibition of military or any hostile use of weather modification techniques” where it was adopted. The convention was signed in Geneva on 18 May 1977. It entered into force on 5 October 1978; endorsed by the President of the USA on 13 December 1979; ratification in New York on 17 January 1980.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

In the USA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) regulates climate monitoring projects under the authority of Public Law 205 of the 92nd Congress.

Environmental Modification Convention

The ENMOD Convention (Environmental Modification Convention), agreed in 1977 under the auspices of the United Nations, prohibits signatory states from deliberately damaging the environment in a conflict or using such damage to the environment as a military advantage or weapon. In particular, it prohibits any form of weather modification for military purposes. As of June 2015, the convention had been ratified by 77 states, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the USA.

Agreement between the United States and Canada

In 1975, the US and Canada agreed under the auspices of the United Nations to exchange information on activities related to climate manipulation.

Legislation in the United States

US Senate Bill 51729 and House Bill 2995 were two bills proposed in 2005 that would have expanded weather modification to the United States, establishing a weather modification research and operations board, where a national weather modification policy would be implemented. It was never passed. US Senate Bill 1807 and House Bill 3445 identical bills, introduced on 17 July 2007. Proposed to establish a climate mitigation council and a team to consolidate research on climate change.

Bills authorising experimental weather modification were submitted to the Senate as well as the House of Representatives in 2005, but were not approved. The Space Preservation Act proposed to “Preserve the peaceful and cooperative uses of space for the benefit of all mankind by permanently banning weapons in space by the United States and requesting the President to take action to adopt and implement a weapon-free space”.

Weather Engineering as a weapon

During the Vietnam War, the US used Weather Engineering as a weapon. Operation Popeye aimed to hinder Vietnamese troops by making it rain extra especially during monsoon. This was done by dropping various chemicals in tons from airplanes, and the US was able to do so by using the weather influence.


French scientists divert lightning strikes using a weather-controlling super laser

Scientists redirect lightning strikes using a weather-controlling super laser
The laser is so powerful it can divert lightning (Picture: SWNS)

Scientists in France have created a way to divert lightning strikes using a weather-controlling super laser.

Researchers with the Polytechnic Institute of Paris guided the strikes from thunderclouds to places where they don’t cause damage. The team says the new technique could save power stations, airports, launchpads, and other buildings from disaster.

The system creates a virtual lightning rod, metal conductors that intercept flashes and guide their currents into the ground.

“The findings extend the current understanding of laser physics in the atmosphere and may aid in the development of novel lightning protection strategies,” says corresponding author Dr. Aurelien Houard, according to a statement from SWNS.

The five-ton device is about the size of a large car and fires up to a thousand pulses per second. The scientists installed it near a telecommunications tower in the Swiss Alps – which is struck by lightning around 100 times a year.

“A powerful laser aimed at the sky can create a virtual lightning rod and divert the path of lightning strikes,” Dr. Houard tells SWNS. “The findings may pave the way for better lightning protection methods for critical infrastructure – such as power stations, airports and launchpads.”

Lightning rods were invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1752 as part of his groundbreaking exploration of electricity, and they’re still in use today. However, installing them is often impractical. They only combat the direct effects of lightning strikes and can cause electromagnetic interference and voltage surges in devices and appliances.

“Acting as a virtual, movable rod, a laser beam directed at the sky could offer an alternative,” Dr. Houard continues.

Scientists redirect lightning strikes using a weather-controlling super laser
Laser Lightning Rod in action (Credit: SWNS)

The laser could prevent billions of dollars in damage

The idea of using intense laser pulses to guide lightning strikes has been previously explored in laboratory conditions. However, there weren’t any field tests that previously demonstrated lightning guiding by lasers. Dr. Houard and colleagues carried out a series of experiments last summer on the top of Mount Santis in northeastern Switzerland.

In six hours of operation during thunderstorms, they observed the laser diverting the course of four upward lightning discharges from the 400-foot-tall tower. Results were corroborated using high-frequency electromagnetic waves generated by the lightning to locate the strikes.

“Increased detection of X-ray bursts at the time of the strikes also confirmed successful guiding,” Dr. Houard tells SWNS. “One of the strikes was directly recorded by high-speed cameras and shown to follow the laser path for over 50 meters.”

The trillion-Watt laser described in Nature Photonics is the first of its kind, and one of the most powerful in its class.

Lightning has immense destructive power. It can cause power outages and forest fires, damage electronic systems and infrastructure, and even lead to the injury or death of humans and livestock. The damages it causes amount to billions of dollars every year. With climate change and the consequent rise in the frequency and severity of storms, damages from lightning will probably increase in the future.

Redirecting lightning using lasers would therefore help protect vulnerable sites such as airports, forests, skyscrapers, and power plants. The laser works by generating a long, ionized channel called a laser filament towards the clouds. It acts as a preferential path for the lightning, deviating it away from vulnerable sites.

“By shooting a thousand laser pulses a second into the clouds we can safely discharge the lightning and make the world a little bit safer,” adds co-author Dr. Clemens Herkommer of Trumpf Scientific Lasers.

Scientists redirect lightning strikes using a weather-controlling super laser
Lightning diversion via SWNS

When are lightning strikes a major concern?

Santis is considered one of Europe’s lightning hotspots, mostly concentrated during peak thunderstorm activity between May and August.

“Lightning has fascinated and terrified humankind since time immemorial,” Dr. Houard says.

Based on satellite data, the total lightning flash rate worldwide – including cloud-to-ground and cloud lightning – is estimated to be between 40 and 120 flashes per second, causing considerable damage and casualties. The documented number of lightning fatalities is well above 4,000 and lightning damages amount to billions of dollars every year.” [NatureStudy Finds]

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Shooting clouds with lasers triggers electrical discharge

EARTH 14 April 2008
New Scientist Default Image

Researchers use high speed cameras to look for lightning strikes triggered by firing a high power laser into storm clouds in the mountains of New Mexico  (Image: CNRS Photothèque/Claude Delhaye)

In a step towards gaining the God-like ability to call down lightning bolts on a whim, researchers used an ultra-high-power laser to trigger electrical activity in storm clouds over New Mexico, US.

They fired ultra-fast pulses of a powerful five terawatt laser into the clouds. These beams created channels of ionised molecules known as “filaments” that conduct electricity through clouds like lightning rods before it strikes earth.

The filaments created were too short-lived to provoke an actual lightning strike. But an increase in the electrical activity inside the clouds was recorded. The French and German researchers that shot the laser skyward say using faster pulses should achieve thunderbolts on demand.

Scientists have proposed using lasers to trigger lightening since the 1970s, but have not had ones powerful enough to properly test the idea.

Rockets trailing long wires have successfully triggered lightning in the past. But that approach is more complex than using a laser that could rapidly hit targets all over the sky.

More firepower

Powerful lasers able to generate terawatts of energy have recently become common in physics labs. But until now they have been too bulky to play with outdoors. The researchers used a new mobile laser called Teramobile, developed by a collaboration of French and German engineers.

It packs the typical equipment of a five terawatt laser into a standard six metre shipping container. In 2001 the average electrical power consumption of the world was just 1.7 terawatts.

This is the first laser that has terawatt power and is also mobile,” says André Mysyrowicz, a researcher at the École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées, Paris, France, who took part in the latest outdoor tests. “This was a breakthrough because it allowed us to bring this laser on top of a mountain.

Focused power

The experiment was conducted during stormy weather on the top of South Baldy Peak in New Mexico. The team hoped to trigger actual lightning strikes by increasing the rate of the laser pulses and using more sophisticated sequences of pulses.

As the laser beam travels through the air towards a cloud it becomes increasingly intense thanks to a process called “self-focusing”, explains Mysyrowicz. “The air acts like a succession of lenses, focusing the laser,” he says.

The air ionises molecules to create the filaments of plasma, up to several hundred metres long, that can lead to a lightning strike.

Mysyrowicz points out that harnessing lightning could have many practical applications – both for studying the elusive phenomenon and for draining electrically volatile storms before they can wreak unpredictable havoc.spacer

Disarming thunderstorms

Lightning control, if you want to protect particular sites, would be very useful. You could avoid lightning on very expensive or fragile sites,” explains Mysyrowicz. For example, in 1987 a US$78 million Atlas Centaur rocket carrying a $83 million military communications satellite had to be destroyed after it went off course after launch. Investigators said the malfunction may have been caused by lighting.

Jean-Claude Diels, professor at the University of New Mexico agrees the technique has the potential to call down lightning strikes. But he says the ionisation caused by the laser pulses must last more than a thousand times longer than the nanosecond it does now.

Diels adds that he thinks it possible that the plasma filaments created so far may not have converted into electrical discharge inside the targeted clouds. “There is some electromagnetic radiation generated by the filaments themselves, which may have contributed to the detected signal.”

Journal reference: Optics Express (DOI: doi:10.1364/OE.16.005757)


February 20, 2009 | 8:04:00 AM

Categories: Bizarro, Lasers and Ray Guns, Less-lethal, Science!, Shhh!!!

Two hundred years ago this week, the warship HMS Warren Hastings was struck by a weird phenomenon: “Three distinct balls of firefell from the heavens, striking the ship and killing two crewmen, leaving behind “a nauseous, sulfurous smell,” according to the Times of London.

Ball lightning has been the subject of much scientific scrutiny over the years. And, as with many powerful natural phenomena, the question arises: “Can we turn it into a weapon?” Peculiar as it may seem, that’s exactly what some researchers are working on — even though it hasn’t even been properly replicated in the laboratory yet.The exact cause and nature of ball lighting has yet to be determined; there may be several different types, confusing matters further. But generally it manifests as a grapefruit-sized sphere of light moving slowly through the air which may end by fizzling out or exploding.In the mid-’60s, the U.S. military started exploring ways that the phenomenon might be weaponized. Take this 1965 Defense Technical Information Center report on Survey of Kugelblitz Theories For Electromagnetic Incendiaries,. The document summarizes and evaluates the ball lightning theories then prevalent, and recommends “a theoretical and experimental Kugelblitz program... (Kugelblitz is German for ball lighting) as a means of developing the theory into a weapons application. This led to an Air Force program called Harness Cavalier, which seems to have ended without producing anything conclusive.
cavalier | Etymology, origin and meaning of cavalier by etymonline
Nov 15, 2022 The meaning “Royalist, adherent of Charles I” is from 1641cavalier (adj.) “disdainful,” by 1817, from earlier sense “easy, offhand” (1650s); originally “gallant, knightly, brave” (1640s), from cavalier (n.) in its Elizabethan senses. Related: Cavalierly. Entries linking to cavalier *ekwo- Proto-Indo-European root meaning “horse.”
spacer  I was not able to locate the Harness Cavalier project, but I did find this pdf: 
This paper presents the obtained results of experimental tests and modelling of lightning disturbances that were propagated in a model of aircraft cable bundle and caused by multiple lightning return-strokes interactions. The work is a continuation of previous research, which was concerned mainly with the interaction of lightning discharge with a single return-stroke. The section of the cable harness arranged above the metal plate was investigated. In one of its wires, a multiple-stroke current representing indirect lightning effects was injected from an impulse current generator dedicated to avionics immunity tests. Overvoltages induced at the ends of other wires surrounded by a braided shield, as well as the influence of line parameters and shield grounding condition on the shape and level of observed transients, were examined. The computer simulation results match the measurement data with satisfactory accuracy, and therefore, the presented model can be used to estimate indirect lightning effects in the wiring harness of avionics

the USAF’s Phillips Laboratory examined a very similar concept in 1993. Again, this involved accelerating a donut-shaped mass of plasma to high speed as an anti-missile weapon in a project called Magnetically Accelerated Ring to Achieve Ultra-high Directed Energy and Radiation, or  MARAUDER. Based on the Air Force’s awesome Shiva Star power system, experiments spat out plasmoids at ultra-high speed that were expected to reach 3,000 kilometers a second by 1995. But nothing was published after 1993, and MARAUDER was classified, disappearing into the black world of secret programs.


Dinosaur lightning, lightning kills 5 football players zambia
Lightning looking like a dinosaur captured at Petrified Forest National Park, USA. Picture by Hallie Larsen, National Park Service; Public Domain via Wikipedia

As NASA battled to get its huge next-generation moon rocket to the launchpad in early 2022, it had to contend with some severe and ugly Floridian weather. A storm system moved in, replete with rains and lightning, threatening the rocket as it waited on the pad for its launch rehearsal. During the storms, the launch zone was hit by lightning four times.

The laser lightning rod projects a green beam into the sky. TRUMPF/Martin Stollberg

The laser lightning rod projects a green beam into the sky. TRUMPF/Martin Stollberg© Provided by CNET

Fortunately, NASA had protected the pad with its lightning towers — giant, metal structures designed to attract lightning and safely carry the charge to the ground. The basic design and idea behind a lightning tower hasn’t changed much since its invention in the 18th century. But in 2021, scientists in north-eastern Switzerland were experimenting with a different type of lightning tower.

Cue the Dr. Evil voice: Giant freakin’ laser beams.

A 3D reconstruction of the lightning strike on July 24, 2021. Scientify – UNIGE

A 3D reconstruction of the lightning strike on July 24, 2021. Scientify – UNIGE© Provided by CNET

In a study, published on Monday in the journal Nature Photonics, researchers describe their attempts to guide lightning with a laser beam on the top of the picturesque Säntis mountain at an altitude of over 8,000 feet.

Related video: Scientists Redirect Lightning In A Storm For The First Time (The Weather Channel)      View on Watch

science fact. A team of researchers in Switzerland used a powerful to redirect Lightning In A Storm For The First Timecer
  • Lightning strikes controlled by super laser

    KameraOne/KameraOneLightning strikes controlled by super laser 0:53
  • Scientists Redirect Lightning Using Lasers

    Amaze Lab/Amaze LabScientists Redirect Lightning Using Lasers
  • Amazing High Speed Camera Footage Captured Lightning Strikes At NASA Launch Complex 39B

    Space Amazing High Speed Camera Footage Captured Lightning Strikes At NASA Launch Complex 39B

World Beyond the Universe
Since 2011, several lightning strikes at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39B have been captured with high speed cameras.

During the summer of 2021, scientists installed a fast-pulsing laser, about the size of a car, next to a telecommunications tower on Säntis. Between July and September of that year, the picosecond laser — which fires at around 1,000 pulses every second, was operated for more than 6 hours of thunderstorm activity. During observation, the comms tower was hit at least sixteen times, with four of those happening during laser activity. (Yes, lightning does strike twice… and sometimes more than that.)

One particular strike, on July 24, 2021, was captured in great detail. The skies were clear enough for high-speed cameras to capture the lightning strike, which appeared to follow the laser for around 50 meters (approximately 165 feet). The facility also had a VHF interferometer, which can measure the electromagnetic wave activity around the site. It was also possible to measure the X-rays for several of the laser-guided strikes.

Lightning is a complicated phenomenon, caused by an imbalance in positive and negative charges between storm clouds and the ground. It doesn’t always travel from a cloud to the ground, either. Often, lightning will also travel upward. The team saw that lightning strikes occurring at Säntis were mostly upward strikes, which is in accordance with most of the strikes in the region.

As the researchers note in the discussion, guiding lightning strikes with laser pulses has been tried a couple of times before, in 2004 and 2011. These attempts were unsuccessful, so why did the Säntis mountain campaign go so well?

The team reasoned that the repetition rate of the laser — how fast it’s pulsing — played a major role. The repetition of this particular laser is two orders of magnitude higher than previous experiments and may have allowed for interception of any lightning precursors developing above the tower. Further laser-guided lightning campaigns will be necessary to fully understand how this giant frickin’ laser did the job.

That’s a good thing. With around 40 to 120 lightning strikes occurring every second on Earth, there’s a decent chunk of area, infrastructure and human life that needs protecting. There’s also the fact that climate change, increasing populations and larger metropolitan areas will guarantee an intensification of lightning hazards to humanity, according to a 2018 paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Lasers, though, have their own issues. For instance, it wouldn’t seem wise to use a laser around an active air field — and the researchers note in their methods they only operated this particular laser when airspace was closed. However, the paper notes this is an important first step forward in the development of new protection methods for airports, launchpads and large infrastructures.

Which means NASA’s next moon mission might not have to be so afraid of that nasty Florida we


Jun 26, 2013
612K subscribers
Scientists are experimenting with using lasers to help guide lightning away from important structures. But to do that, they will need something very powerful laser. See more on Hacking the Planet only on The Weather Channel.


Weather modification: Scientists redirect lightning and create clouds and rain

Weather Wizard in Flash

Scientists are now playing the Weather Wizard.

They are able to redirect lightning and create clouds and rain just with a single laser beam! Laser weather modification!

You probably know the story of the Weather Wizard, a fictional DC Comics supervillain capable to control the weather either on a small scale (such as zapping someone with lightning) or on a larger scale (imprisoning a town in winter).

Well, a research group at the University of Geneva is also working to influence the weather with initial successes. As shown in the different videos and publications of the group, they will be rapidly able to redirect lightning, produce clouds and trigger rain by using high-energy laser.

What sounds like science fiction has moved into the realm of possibility thanks to new ultrashort pulse lasers which can send light pulse averaging an energy in the range terawatt (trillion watts) within femtosecond (millionths of a billionth of a second). These represent the shortest possible events that can be artificially generated nowadays.

teramobile lightning control, teramobile: a laser to control and redirect lightning, laser to control weather, weather control haarp, laser weather control

High-voltage lightning : without laser guiding (left), with laser guiding (right)

Such a laser, called the “Teramobile” was built by the Geneva scientists, together with colleagues from Germany and France. It can generate five terawatts of energy and only just fits in a cargo container. Learn more about this project here. It is pretty amazing!

teramobile laser and container plan

This Teramobile laser creates a spooky phenomenon in the atmosphere: The high-energy laser pulses ionize the air (the air molecules loose their electrons) and form a current-conducting plasma channel. These “filaments” channels may range several miles up into the atmosphere. Pretty scary, no?

weather modification, weather modification switzerland, weather modification laser, weather modification laser beam, create lightning laser modification, create clouds weather modification, teramobile is the first mobile terawatt laser in the world for atmospheric studies
teramobile is the first mobile terawatt laser in the world for atmospheric studies

My question is: Is this an alternative to HAARP?


High-energy laser beam shot into clouds could make rain, lightning happen at will

ANI Last Updated at April 19, 2014 13:45 IST

Researchers at the University of Central Florida’s College of Optics and Photonics and the University of Arizona plan to develop a new technique which will aim a high-energy laser beam into clouds to make it rain or trigger lightning.

They plan to surround the beam with a second beam to act as an energy reservoir, sustaining the central beam to greater distances than previously possible.

The secondary “dress” beam refuels and helps prevent the dissipation of the high-intensity primary beam, which on its own would break down quickly.

Water condensation and lightning activity in clouds are linked to large amounts of static charged particles. Stimulating those particles with the right kind of laser holds the key to possibly one day summoning a shower when and where it is needed.

Lasers can already travel great distances but “when a laser beam becomes intense enough, it behaves differently than usual – it collapses inward on itself,” Matthew Mills, a graduate student in the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) said.

“The collapse becomes so intense that electrons in the air’s oxygen and nitrogen are ripped off creating plasma – basically a soup of electrons,” he said.

At that point, the plasma immediately tries to spread the beam back out, causing a struggle between the spreading and collapsing of an ultra-short laser pulse. This struggle is called filamentation, and creates a filament or “light string” that only propagates for a while until the properties of air make the beam disperse.

Because a filament creates excited electrons in its wake as it moves, it artificially seeds the conditions necessary for rain and lightning to occur,” Mills said.

A report on the project, “Externally refueled optical filaments,” was recently published in Nature Photonics.


Matthew Mills and Ali Miri

The adage “Everyone complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it,” may one day be obsolete if researchers at the University of Central Florida’s College of Optics & Photonics and the University of Arizona further develop a new technique to aim a high-energy laser beam into clouds to make it rain or trigger lightning.

The solution? Surround the beam with a second beam to act as an energy reservoir, sustaining the central beam to greater distances than previously possible. The secondary “dress” beam refuels and helps prevent the dissipation of the high-intensity primary beam, which on its own would break down quickly. A report on the project, “Externally refueled optical filaments,” was recently published in Nature Photonics.

Water condensation and lightning activity in clouds are linked to large amounts of static charged particles. Stimulating those particles with the right kind of laser holds the key to possibly one day summoning a shower when and where it is needed.

Lasers can already travel great distances but “when a laser beam becomes intense enough, it behaves differently than usual – it collapses inward on itself,” said Matthew Mills, a graduate student in the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL). “The collapse becomes so intense that electrons in the air’s oxygen and nitrogen are ripped off creating plasma – basically a soup of electrons.”

At that point, the plasma immediately tries to spread the beam back out, causing a struggle between the spreading and collapsing of an ultra-short laser pulse. This struggle is called filamentation, and creates a filament or “light string” that only propagates for a while until the properties of air make the beam disperse.

“Because a filament creates excited electrons in its wake as it moves, it artificially seeds the conditions necessary for rain and lightning to occur,” Mills said. Other researchers have caused “electrical events” in clouds, but not lightning strikes.

But how do you get close enough to direct the beam into the cloud without being blasted to smithereens by lightning?

“What would be nice is to have a sneaky way which allows us to produce an arbitrary long ‘filament extension cable.’ It turns out that if you wrap a large, low intensity, doughnut-like ‘dress’ beam around the filament and slowly move it inward, you can provide this arbitrary extension,” Mills said. “Since we have control over the length of a filament with our method, one could seed the conditions needed for a rainstorm from afar. Ultimately, you could artificially control the rain and lightning over a large expanse with such ideas.”

So far, Mills and fellow graduate student Ali Miri have been able to extend the pulse from 10 inches to about 7 feet. And they’re working to extend the filament even farther.

“This work could ultimately lead to ultra-long optically induced filaments or plasma channels that are otherwise impossible to establish under normal conditions,” said professor Demetrios Christodoulides, who is working with the graduate students on the project.

“In principle such dressed filaments could propagate for more than 50 meters or so, thus enabling a number of applications. This family of optical filaments may one day be used to selectively guide microwave signals along very long plasma channels, perhaps for hundreds of meters.”

Other possible uses of this technique could be used in long-distance sensors and spectrometers to identify chemical makeup. Development of the technology was supported by a $7.5 million grant from the Department of Defense.


Laser Rain Makers

What if scientists could make it rain?
Marsha Lewis, Contributing Producer

(Inside Science TV) — In some areas of the United States, summer weather can bring with it heat, sun and severe drought conditions. These droughts can be crippling for the economy and dangerous for local inhabitants. But, what if scientists could coax rain out of the sky?

Researchers at the University of Central Florida in Orlando said that lasers may one day be able to make rain.

“If you could arbitrarily make the rain where you want, that would be a great thing,” said Matthew Mills, a graduate student of optics and physics at UCF.

During a rainstorm, particles inside a cloud build up static electricity and release it as lightning.  Meanwhile, tiny water droplets stick together until they are heavy enough to fall to the ground.  Scientists want to recreate this process with lasers to produce rain when and where it is needed.

“It just so happens that this [process] mimics the conditions in the clouds before a rainstorm,” said Mills.

The technique could allow scientists to aim a high-energy laser beam into clouds, to create artificial rain and lightning.

The problem is that laser beams are short so their use is limited. Mills developed a new technique using one laser to extend the beam of another. Researchers were able to increase the length of the laser beam from 10 inches to seven feet.

Mills stated that, “You can make it go as far as you want.”

The technology could potentially make rain on demand in places that experience frequent droughts.

The process could also allow scientists to divert or control lightning strikes.

Development of this technology was supported by a $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense.



NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory researchers have studied lightning for almost half a century. We continue to learn more about lightning structure and behavior while developing methods to use lightning data to improve severe weather forecasts and warnings.


The Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array (OKLMA) provides three-dimensional mapping of lightning channel segments over Oklahoma. Thousands of points can be mapped for an individual lightning flash to reveal its location and the development of its structure. This data shows where lightning initiates in a storm, where the storm is carrying net charge, and how large of an area a flash covers. NSSL is investigating how lightning characteristics relate to updrafts, precipitation, and severe storm processes.


The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) is the current generation of geostationary weather satellites. The first GOES-R satellite, GOES-16, which covers the eastern half of the United States, was launched in 2016. GOES-17 covers the western half and was launched in 2018. These satellites are each equipped with a Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) that detects the light emissions from both cloud-to-ground and inter-cloud lightning which escape the cloud and make it to space. This technology helps severe weather forecasters identify rapidly intensifying thunderstorms so they can issue accurate and timely severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings.

The GLM also provides a brand new, constant monitor of lightning over a large area that scientists at NSSL and elsewhere can use to address research questions we were not able to address before. How does the total lightning in a hurricane rain band change as it makes landfall? Can we use lightning to improve our weather forecast models? How far can a single lightning flash travel? The previous record recognized by the World Meteorological Organization was 321 km (199 miles) long and was observed by the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array (OKLMA) in 2007. But, the GLM can monitor a much larger area than the OKLMA. This record was broken in 2020 by a flash 709 km (441 mi) long observed with the GLM over South America!

One thing to consider with a brand new instrument is that there are also brand new things to learn about what it sees. Does the GLM see the same signatures of a strong updraft that we observed with an LMA? What flashes can it not measure because not enough light made it out of the cloud to space? If light from the lightning doesn’t make it out of the cloud, does that mean that bulky raindrops and hailstones prevented the light from escaping? Could this be a way to monitor the presence of hail in the cloud?

The Pseudo-Geostationary Lightning Mapper (PGLM) was the primary lightning training tool for the GOES-R program in preparation for the launch of the GLM. The PGLM used total lightning data from three Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) networks including the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array (OKLMA) and the Lightning Detection and Ranging network that detects radio waves emitted in the very high frequency range by lightning flashes. Flashes were sorted, and a Flash Extent Density product was created to approximate the resolution of the GLM. The PGLM tool was used to start development of forecasting applications using the GLM before the satellite was launched. It and other data collected by LMAs remain useful, especially in determining how GLM measurements compare to ground measurements, and determining what new GLM measurements can and cannot see.


How ice particles grow and move around in a storm controls where lightning flashes happen and how large those flashes become. NSSL researchers study lightning mapping data to learn how lightning behavior can be associated with different types of storms, and what the lightning may tell us about other processes happening within the storm. Lightning mapping has shown that some supercell thunderstorms have “lightning holes” where updrafts are located and precipitation is scarce, sometimes appearing just before a storm becomes severe. This information could alert forecasters about developing severe conditions. It has also shown that near the updrafts of thunderstorms flashes tend to be smaller, which can be useful for forecasters in quickly pinpointing portions of storm complexes that need to be monitored. Lightning mapping also shows changes in flash altitudes throughout a storm’s lifecycle, and can even show overshooting top signatures in deep thunderstorms!

We have shown that rapid increases in total lightning activity are often observed tens of minutes in advance of severe weather occurring at the ground. These rapid increases in lightning activity have been termed “lightning jumps.” An operationally applicable lightning jump algorithm was developed with the total lightning observations made from lightning mapping arrays. Combined with the other features that exist in the total lightning data, this is an additional indicator for forecasters to look at to monitor a storm.


Lightning is dangerous to people outside or without good shelter, so predicting areas at risk of lightning strikes can be useful for outdoor activities. NSSL scientists are working on two tools, both tools use machine learning to help predict whether lightning is likely at a given location. The first one is the experimental Lightning Probabilistic Hazard Information (PHI) tool. This tool incorporates data on current storms and past observations to continuously predict the probability of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in the next hour. The second is testing whether we can use weather forecast model output from the NSSL Experimental Warn-on-Forecast System to help us predict the probability of significant rates of cloud-to-ground lightning hours in advance.

Find out more about lightning prediction at:

NSSL scientists are also researching if lightning activity can help us predict what storms will do in the future. Increases in flash rates can signify a strengthening storm in the near future, which is useful for forecasters monitoring storms. For looking at storm behavior farther into the future, lightning can be used in conjunction with radar data to give a computer model more information on the initial conditions of the atmosphere and the storms that are already present. NSSL researchers have collaborated with other universities and agencies to test different ways of incorporating Geostationary Lightning Mapper information into forecast models, a technique known as data assimilation.

The NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) is important for each of these topics. In the HWT, NSSL partners with the NWS Storm Prediction Center and the National Weather Service to develop, test, and evaluate new observations such as those from the GLM and severe weather forecasting techniques for the entire United States. A cornerstone of the HWT is the Spring Experiment, held each year during the active spring severe weather season. The exchange provides forecasters with a first-hand look at the latest research concepts and products, while research scientists gain a valuable understanding of the challenges, needs, and constraints of front-line forecasters which can better direct future research performed at NSSL.


NSSL/CIWRO scientists simulated realistic cloud-to-ground lightning flashes for the first time using a 3-D cloud model that generates complex precipitation such as graupel (soft hail), which is known to affect lightning production. Scientists use the model to simulate the updraft, cloud, and precipitation structure in supercell storms that produce the OKLMA-observed “lightning holes.” They also use the model to make comparisons between simulated and observed flashes and analyze lightning more closely. Some of these processes have been added to the widely-used Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to make explicit forecasts of storm electrification and estimate lightning occurrence. These simulations are used for studying how lightning responds to other factors in isolation: How does the aerosol content affect the amount and type of lightning produced? How does that compare to changes in the environment?

COMMAS model output: This animation shows cloud edge (gray), 40 dbZ volume (brown), vertical vorticity (blue), lightning (white and yellow volumes), and surface simulated radar reflectivity and wind vectors. (Note: no audio track, no captioning.)


Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array

In 2020–2021, NSSL researchers installed a full network of Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) sensors on portable, solar-powered platforms. This mobile network will be used to study lightning outside of the existing Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array (OKLMA) domain in conjunction with other field projects, such as VORTEX-SE in 2022. Like the OKLMA, the mobile LMA network can be used to study the full three-dimensional structure of lightning flashes inside storms, including where flashes initiate, how large of an area they propagate through, the length of time it takes for lightning to develop, where net positive and negative charge collects in the cloud, and estimate the electrical energy dissipated by each flash.

Mobile Ballooning Facility

In the 1980s, NSSL researchers modified a 15-passenger van by mounting a Cross-Chain Loran Atmospheric Sounding System inside and invented a high-wind launch device for releasing helium-filled balloons in very high winds. The vans were replaced by modified ambulance-style vehicles, which are rarely used in the field.

This pioneering capability allowed NSSL to collect data in the vicinity of tornadoes and drylines, gathering critically needed observations in the near-storm environment of thunderstorms. In addition, these mobile labs and ballooning systems provided the first vertical profiles of electric fields inside a thunderstorm leading to a new conceptual model of electrical structures within convective storms. Larger instruments needed larger balloons (and more helium) to carry them. Moving vans have also been outfitted for field programs to carry helium tanks and pre-inflated balloons to the thunderstorm.

Balloon-borne Instruments

The NSSL Field Observing Facilities and Support group (FOFS) built a special balloon-borne instrument called a PArticle Size, Image, and Velocity probe (PASIV), designed to capture high-definition images of water and ice particles as it is launched into, and rises up through a thunderstorm. The instrument is flown as part of a “train” of other instruments connected one after another to a balloon. One important instrument for lightning research attached to these balloons is an electric field meter, which measures the electric field strength and direction (this has been used to verify remote estimations of charge made with the OKLMA). Additional instruments measure other atmospheric variables such as temperature, dewpoint, pressure, and winds. Data from these systems helps researchers understand the relationships between the many macro and microphysical properties in thunderstorms such as where different precipitation particles and electrically charged regions are present in the storm. This information is used to help evaluate theories on thunderstorm electrification and lightning production.



The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) field experiment (2012) used aircraft and ground-based instruments to investigate thunderstorms. This project studied how thunderstorm updrafts carry electrically charged particles, water vapor, and other chemicals (including those created by lightning such as NOx) to other parts of the atmosphere.


TELEX, the Thunderstorm Electrification and Lightning EXperiment (2004-2005) studied how lighting and other electrical storm properties are dependent on storm structure, updrafts, and precipitation.


STEPS (2000), the Severe Thunderstorm Electrification and Precipitation Study, made meteorological and electrical observations of supercell thunderstorms


MEaPRS, the MCS Electrification and Polarimetric Radar Study (1998), investigated polarization radar signatures and electrification processes in Mesoscale Convective Systems.


NSSL works with NASA’s Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT), the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMIMT), the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) and the NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Center (NESDIS), in addition to working closely with the NOAA Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS).


July 19 2019 rampant storms which included 5 tornado siren alerts within a few hr duration, all starting with this surreal strobe lightning which ended with a fire orange sky past the time of sunset (not included in this video, noted for reference)


David Hambling
I’m a South London-based technology journalist, consultant and author

Thunderbolts are traditionally the weapon of the gods, but in 1967 the CIA were wondering whether they, too, could call down bolts of lightning from the heavens at will.

The idea is contained in a proposal from a scientist, sent to the CIA’s Deputy for Research ‘Special Activities’ and passed on to the chief of the Air Systems division. The scientist’s name has been redacted in the declassified document from the CIA’s archive, but the proposal mentions a previous discussion with the CIA, indicating they were being taken seriously.

The guided lightning concept is based on the observation that lightning follows a path of ionized air known as a step leader. Once the leader stroke reaches the ground and makes a circuit, the lightning proper is formed and a current flow, typically around 300 million Volts at 30,000 Amps.

The scientist suggests that artificial leaders could “cause discharges to occur when and where we want them.” The artificial leader would be a wire a few thousandths of an inch in diameter and several miles long. Wires would be inserted into storms by aircraft or rockets on a spool, and unrolled by a drogue parachute, and lightning would follow them down to the ground.

“This method is possible because the main discharge will occur through ionized surrounding the wire,” notes the scientist. The wire, like the leader, is only needed to get the lightning going, and would still work even if it broke.

Among the advantages are “a relatively cheap barrage may be laid down” and “there should be little or no evidence left of what caused the lightning storm.” The technique would allow the CIA to call down what looked like the wrath of heaven on a target without giving away that they were behind it. It would certainly be a useful capability – if it could be done.

The plan may not have seemed very far-fetched in 1967. The U.S. Air Force was already involved in weather modification with Operation Popeye, seeding clouds in Vietnam in an unsuccessful attempt to increase rainfall and disrupt the Ho Chi Minh trail used to supply the Viet Cong. And the CIA was keen on psychological operations invoking the supernatural, such as a scheme to persuade Cubans that the Second Coming was imminent by having a submarine surface covertly and launch flares over Havana – ‘Illumination by Submarine.’

The scientist involved appears to have been a senior meteorological researcher. The proposal notes that that they have prepared patents for the commercial exploitation of the technology, but wanted the U.S. military to have free use of it first.

The idea is certainly scientifically valid. In the subsequent decades the technique of triggering lightning with artificial leaders – typically wires towed by rockets – has proven valuable for research in both the U.S. and China. But taming lightning is not easy or simple, and nobody has yet demonstrated the type of ‘barrage’ suggested in the CIA proposal, as far as we know.

DARPA later experimented with triggered lightning and took research much further with their Project Nimbus, operating the only dedicated outdoor lightning research center in the U.S. However, the emphasis was on basic scientific research and preventing lightning strikes. (Ironically enough, the latest F-35 Lightning II aircraft has proven to be particularly vulnerable to lightning).

They claimed they had no interest in using lightning as a weapon… Oddly though, the promised commercial patents were never published. So we cannot tell whether the idea was dropped — or whether it disappeared into some secret black project and the CIA still harbors dreams of a covert arsenal of thunderbolts.


Home of the Giza Community and Dr. Joseph P. Farrell

Lately, as you can tell, I’ve been blogging about Sudden Animal Deaths, the decline of insect populations, and so on. And I’ve been entertaining the idea  for some time that these deaths might be due to the unintended consequences of increased environmental ambient electromagnetic radiation, or in some cases, as the deliberate result of the tests of electromagnetically based exotic weaponry. With respect to the latter hypothesis, I’ve entertained it with regard to the sudden deaths of whole flights of birds in mid-air, and – in an entirely different context – with respect to some of the anomalous photos and videos witnesses have gathered from fires in Australia and California. In regard to the latter, I’ve even gone so far as to suggest that the power grid itself might have been weaponized as the broadcast antenna for the fires by simply sending transients through the wires and into homes. With respect to the recent sudden death of a herd of elephants in Africa, I’ve entertained the idea of a lightning weapons test.

Yea, I know all this sounds nutty, and it probably is.

But the nuttiness isn’t mine. It belongs to “them”, you know, the guys that sit around and dream all this stuff up. “N.” found this article and passed it along (our thanks!), and it’s worth absorbing, because it’s not coming from an “alternative media” source, but from Forbes magazine:

When The CIA Considered Weaponizing Lightning

Here’s what has leaped out at me:

Now let’s dive into today’s high octane speculation. If you’ve been following the phenomenon of “chemtrails” and the spraying being conducted, one of the things you’ll have come across is the claim that much of the material being sprayed is particulate heavy metals. Sometimes the composition of this spray varies, but among the metals most often mentioned in this regard are aluminum, and barium. Sometimes there are others. In some examinations, the spraying began during the Reagan era as a secretive effort to increase the electrical conductivity of the atmosphere for his Strategic Defense Initiative project. This needed a “cover story,” so in some versions, the spraying was being done to “save the environment” or to “combat climate change” (which explanation in itself is intriguing, because that implied the ability to manipulate weather on a planetary scale).

As the article itself notes, the use of wires was intended to provide a channel for lightning to close the circuit between the atmosphere and the ground, but that it “would still work even if it broke.” In other words, you do not need a long wire, but several short ones in close proximity to each other to provide a channel or circuit for the lightning. Like particulate aerosolized heavy metals…

The next thing one needs is the ability to create the large charge differentials to be able to cause lightning to strike, otherwise that sheath of heavy metals might function to block such strikes like a big Faraday cage, though in my opinion this possibility is unlikely for a variety of reasons. In any case, one needs an ability to ionize the atmosphere sufficiently to build up these enormous charges, or to take a naturally occurring storm, and load more energy into it. Enter the ionosphere heaters like HAARP. Indeed, when this technology was being dreamed up and patented – incidentally, during Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative era – some of the uses claimed for it were weather modification and steering, missile defense, and some analysts also made good cases that it could be used to cause lightning strikes.

In other words, the USA had, and has had, this capability since at least the 1980s, and probably now many other nations as well. Put the two together – the spraying and the heaters – and one would have the equivalent, perhaps, of the ability to bombard a region or  area with lightning, a kind of “carpet bombing with lightning”, and to coin a pun, a true and proper Blitz.

Obviously, carpet bombing with lightning isn’t exactly “assassination” in any classical sense. For that, one would need some means for precision strikes, not just an aerosolized region and lightning strikes to start forest fires. One would need some means to be able to dial someone up, or at least, locate them, and use whatever such device that might be providing that location, to pulse it and them.

Yea… I know. It sounds nutty. And probably is.

But… while you’re reading this on your ipad, remember that the first two essential requirements have been around since the 1980s at least, and the weaponized lightning idea since at least 1967, if not long before that, with the lightning bolts of the gods, who may not have been gods at all, but just people with an extraordinarily sophisticated science. After all, the ability to call down lightning strikes at a specific point would certainly impress a bunch of hairless monkeys who were still using bows and arrows to accomplish their mischief.

Who Holds the Thunderbolts Now?




An electrolaser is a type of electroshock weapon that is also a directed-energy weapon. It uses lasers to form an electrically conductive laser-induced plasma channel (LIPC). A fraction of a second later, a powerful electric current is sent down this plasma channel and delivered to the target, thus functioning overall as a large-scale, high energy, long-distance version of the Taser electroshock gun.

Alternating current is sent through a series of step-up transformers, increasing the voltage and decreasing the current. The final voltage may be between 108 and 109 volts.[citation needed] This current is fed into the plasma channel created by the laser beam.

Laser-induced plasma channel

laser-induced plasma channel (LIPC) is formed by the following process:

  • A laser emits a laser beam into the air.
  • The laser beam rapidly heats and ionizes surrounding gases to form plasma.
  • The plasma forms an electrically conductive plasma channel.

Because a laser-induced plasma channel relies on ionization, gas must exist between the electrolaser weapon and its target. If a laser-beam is intense enough, its electromagnetic field is strong enough to rip electrons off of air molecules, or whatever gas happens to be in between, creating plasma.[1] Similar to lightning, the rapid heating also creates a sonic boom.[citat

1) Could this be one of the reasons they are filling our atmosphere and ionosphere with gases?
 2) Could this be the cause of many of the sonic booms or loud explosions people have been hearing?
 3) Could this be another reason, or maybe even the main reason for all the satellites? They are mapping all the sites where Lightning is generated.

But it’s not as villainous as it sounds.

lightning in the fist

perets//Getty Images

  • Low-powered sky lasers could help redirect and reduce the intensity of lightning strikes.
  • Previous research involved higher-powered lasers, but this is a gentler, different mechanic.
  • The technology could work with different materials, environmental conditions, and even shapes.

Could we trap lightning using a sky interference device? Scientists think so, and their design for a “tractor beam” could reduce one of the biggest causes of bushfires. Plus, the laser that powers it is far less powerful than in previous designs, meaning it’s a lot less villainous and a lot more possible.

⚡️You love badass tech. So do we. Let’s nerd out over it together.

Here’s how it works: Scientists study lightning patterns and agree on some preconceived paths that will cause the least harm and redirect lightning strikes from the driest or otherwise most vulnerable places. Then, they prime the air using a low-powered laser that pipes a ton of graphene particles along the length of its beam.

The beam of light-absorbing particles is a lightning magnet, and it also reduces the intensity of the discharge. This, the researchers say, amounts to an “efficient approach for triggering, trapping and guiding electrical discharges in air.”

This research builds on existing knowledge about how lasers can be used to influence lightning. That’s because the high-powered beams create a kind of plasma conduit in the air—like seeding clouds for rain, the line of plasma draws lightning to it and even catalyzes the discharges so they can be controlled. But there was always a catch.

The researchers explain:

“Such direct optical field-induced photoionization requires very high optical field intensities. Use of such high peak-power laser beams may limit the scope of applications. [N]o techniques that can control electrical discharges with low power laser beams exist.”

Imagine two lasers side by side, and they basically look the same. But while one is so hot it’s adding energized ions to the actual atoms and molecules the air is made of—totally fine in the right circumstances, but requiring very high power—the other is like an invisible skewer that naturally aligns certain particles within the beam.

mechanisms for a laser induced air breakdown and discharge guidance

Laser vortex beam that traps particles and at the same time heats them (a) leading to the local reduction in the air density and the increase of the electron mean free path λMFP in heated regions surrounding the particles (b). This dramatically increases the Townsend ionization coefficient α (c) in hot areas resulting in a decrease of the discharge threshold.

V. Shvedov, et. al./Nature Communications

The subsequent graphene kabob achieves the same goals, the researchers say. “Our approach does not rely on photoionization,” they say. “Instead, we locally control the mean free path of electrons in the ambient air and tailor conditions of electric breakdown.”

It doesn’t only work with graphene, either—the researchers encourage future studies on other materials, both metallic and not. In fact, it doesn’t need just a straight line, either. “Here, we have used a single vortex transporter beam and shown guidance along a straight line,” they explain.

“However, our approach is applicable to more complex scenarios. Notably, we envisage guidance of electrical discharges along complex three-dimensional paths in the ambient air with the use of multiple and/or spatially modulated beams including beams propagating along curved trajectory. In addition, the technique we propose pertains to atmospheres with a different gas composition and/or pressure level.”

The far-fetched concept of weather control just might be in our scientific forecast. Researchers are making progress in using ultrashort laser pulses to create lightning and cue cloud formation, with potential applications in agriculture, public safety and beyond. Cloud of water droplets generated in a cloud chamber by laser filaments (in red).
The following photo was snipped from this article Optics & Photonics News – Laser Based Weather Control.
Filamenting beam on a screen: Colored conical emission is clearly visible around the filament (white center).

This next photo appeared on StrangeSounds webpage with the following notation.

Lunar crown over the peak of Mount Whistler (Canada, January 2023).

Photo by David McColm
I find the resemblance striking.  There have been so many strange phenomenon in the skies above us through the past couple decades.  I just wander how many of them are the direct result of the EXPERIMENTATION.  It is curious to me that all the weather changes and various ailment and respiratory problems among other thing have all increased tremendously as well.  How do we know what they are doing to our environment and how this all will affect us, and in fact already has.  The younger folks don’t have a clue.  They have grown up in this techno world.  But, we who are the baby boomers, we remember a much more different world.  We know what is real and natural and what is NOT!
Lightning in Japan at night
Thunderstorms in parts of Japan are known for producing γ-ray flashes and glows. Credit: Otowa Electric

On top of Kanazawa Izumigaoka High School, the wind whips at researchers Teruaki Enoto and Yuuki Wada as they wrestle with a boxy instrument, trying to secure it to the roof. A nearby weathervane swings ominously and clouds gather over distant mountains, all signs of the storm brewing in the direction of the Sea of Japan. This is exactly the kind of weather Wada and Enoto are hoping for. The device they are installing will spy on thunderstorms as they spit out γ-radiation — a mysterious process that physicists are eager to understand.

As the highest-energy electromagnetic radiation in the Universe, γ-rays typically come from far awayfrom around black holes, supernovae and other extreme cosmic environments. They are often created by surges of electrons travelling at close to the speed of light. But in the 1980s and 1990s, physicists discovered that clouds on Earth also emit invisible γ-rays: as short, intense millisecond bursts and as weaker, long-lingering glows. Somehow, certain storms accelerate billions of electrons to close to the speed of light to produce these γ-rays. “The mystery is how this can occur in Earth’s atmosphere,” says Wada, a physicist with the Extreme Natural Phenomena RIKEN Hakubi Research Team in Saitama, Japan.

That question has brought him to a rooftop in a growing storm. Physicists want not only to understand this high-energy process, but also to use the radiation as a fresh lens for studying some fundamental questions about thunderstorms. There is even hope that the γ-rays might help atmospheric scientists to shed light on the centuries-old question of what initiates lightning.

But capturing these intense rays is not easy. Although satellites have spotted thousands of millisecond terrestrial γ-ray flashes (TGFs), those measurements can’t provide a close-enough view to reveal in detail the mechanism that produces them. Studying TGFs from Earth has previously proved difficult, and scientists have observed the longer-lasting glows at only a few locations.

Left, Yuuki Wada and right, Teruaki Enoto at the Kanazawa Izumigaoka high school roof after setting up equipment

Researchers Yuuki Wada and Teruaki Enoto on top of Kanazawa Izumigaoka High School with their γ-ray detector.Credit: The GROWTH collaboration/Thundercloud Project

Kanazawa is one of the best places to capture both glows and flashes. Located on the northwest side of Japan’s central Honshu island, the city regularly sees powerful thunderclouds that roll in from Siberia during winter and hover less than 1 kilometre above the ground. Because the clouds are so low, radiation emitted by the storm can reach the ground, rather than getting absorbed by the atmosphere.

The group, led at the RIKEN Hakubi lab by Enoto, an astrophysicist, is making rapid progress in understanding these high-energy phenomena, says Joseph Dwyer, an atmospheric physicist at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. “These are some of the best researchers in the world in this field,” he says.

Around the globe, several ground-based groups are now looking at γ-rays from storms, including teams at large facilities designed to observe high-energy particles from outer space. But by using a network of detectors, the small Japanese team has been one of the most successful in the world at spotting the phenomena — managing, on something of a shoestring budget, to detect ten TGFs and dozens of glows since 20151.

Wada and Enoto have big plans for their initiative, known as the Thundercloud Project. They are now expanding its work with the help of Japanese citizens. This year, the team will create a network of around 50 detectors in schools, temples and homes that will allow them to catch more γ-rays, map the events and follow them throughout their life cycle, something that has never been tried before. In Japan, the project is one of the first attempts in physics to harness research results through citizen science, says Yuko Ikkatai, a member of the initiative and a researcher in science communication at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe in Kashiwa.

The researchers eventually hope to place hundreds of small-scale detectors across the city. Focusing their efforts on Kanazawa was a gamble, says Enoto, but one that is already starting to pay off. “Now, I am glad,” he says.

Hidden flashes

Scientists first saw γ-ray glows coming from Earth in 1985, when a NASA jet carrying radiation detectors raced through a thunderstorm. It picked up weak emissions emanating from clouds before a lightning flash. Then, in 1994, a probe designed to study the cosmos, NASA’s Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, detected TGFs coming from thunderclouds much brighter bursts of γ-rays that last just hundreds of microseconds. It came as a surprise, says Dwyer, because the bursts stemmed from “the one place in the Universe everyone knew no γ-rays should be coming from” — Earth.

Elsewhere in the Universe, in energetic environments such as around black holes, beams of charged particles are accelerated to close to the speed of light and produce γ-rays when the particles collide with gas and dust. On Earth, researchers now think something similar happens in certain types of thundercloud, in which strong electric fields accelerate electrons to extreme speeds. But physicists don’t know how big or intense the electric fields need to be to generate γ-rays nor how to account for the sheer number of electrons a storm would need to make a TGF. “It’s a deep question at the moment,” says Enoto.  (NOR DO THEY KNOW HOW ALL THESE EXPERIMENTS ARE OR WILL AFFECT HUMANS; NOR DO THEY CARE!)

Lightning at Sagami Lake, Kanagawa, Japan

Lightning during a summer storm in Kanagawa, Japan.Credit: Yuuki Wada

Observations by satellites, which routinely detect TGFs travelling up towards space, suggest that the flashes occur alongside lightning strikes. About 1 in every 1,000 strikes creates a TGF, meaning thousands of flashes occur around the planet each day. But satellites are too far from the action to provide much detail. From a vantage point hundreds of kilometres above a storm, fast-moving satellites might capture only a handful of photons from each burst and struggle to pinpoint their position. Nor do they see the much weaker γ-glows.

Aeroplanes and balloons aren’t ideal platforms for studying the flashes either, because they can disrupt the natural phenomena and can be dangerous for researchers. Detectors on the ground provide a closer view than satellites do, but they are rarely close enough to storm clouds, so the γ-rays get absorbed well before they hit the ground.

We really need close-up, detailed measurements of these things,” says Dwyer.

Citizen science

Enoto and his team can get close to storms in Kanazawa. In late 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic shut down international travel, they were gearing up for their winter campaign by reinstalling the first detector of the season. In a taxi to the school, Enoto notes the bright red autumn leaves that draw visitors to Kanazawa’s famous public gardens. The city is “beautiful and old, with delicious food”, he says. But for researchers, it’s the city’s combination of frequent lightning and low-lying thunderstorms that are its best asset. “Thunderstorms here are special,” he says.

The Thundercloud Project began in 2015, when Enoto returned from a five-year stint in the United States and reignited a passion for the topic from a decade earlier. As a PhD student in 2006, Enoto and physicist Harufumi Tsuchiya at RIKEN had installed detectors to explore strange noise-like signals picked up by γ-ray monitoring posts around nuclear power stations not far from Kanazawa, along the coast of the Sea of Japan. The detectors confirmed that such spikes came from winter thunderclouds passing overhead2.

When he returned in 2015, Enoto’s main field of study was cosmic sources of X-rays. But he never forgot the intriguing radiation much closer to home. Reunited with Tsuchiya, he embarked on an effort to build a fleet of detectors to explore these γ-ray signals around a wide area of Kanazawa, which is in Ishikawa prefecture, and in Niigata prefecture, to the northeast. Crucial to their plans was making cheap, tabletop γ-ray detectors that they could install in dozens of sites. Wada joined the team and led the design of this compact device, which used a US$60 mini Raspberry Pi computer, alongside crystals of bismuth germanate, a material that lights up when it is hit by γ-ray photons. Their experiments harness tools from high-energy physics that are rarely used by atmospheric scientists. “It’s a fusion of worlds,” says Wada.

Compact Gamma-ray Monitor

A detector that will be part of a citizen-science effort to capture γ-ray emissions from storms in Japan.Credit: TAC Inc/Thundercloud project

At first, the project struggled to get a government research grant, in part because it falls between particle physics and atmospheric science. But the team was able to build a first generation of detectors with the help of a ¥1.6 million (US$15,000) donation from 150 supporters through the Japanese research-crowdfunding platform Academist.

In their first campaign, the researchers installed 16 detectors in Kanazawa and surrounding cities and, in 2017, made a major discovery. They observed a series of telltale γ-ray signals, which could only be caused by nuclear reactions in thunderstorms. Their landmark findings proved that γ-rays could knock neutrons out of atoms in the air, making them radioactive3. That finding confirmed the existence of a hypothesized process that produces some of the atmosphere’s supply of radioactive carbon-14, the isotope that researchers use in carbon-dating of ancient materials.

Now the team is expanding even further, in an effort to spot more γ-ray events and to better understand what causes them (see ‘Gamma-ray factory’). Kanazawa is an ideal location because it has a large inland plain that could host an array of detectors, allowing the researchers to track signals from travelling clouds. Enoto has worked with a private company to design an even smaller, cheaper detector, which his team plans to distribute to citizen scientists around the city to install and operate.

Gamma-ray factory. Explainer diagram showing how gamma rays are produced.

Social network

Each yellow box, which is tagged with a GPS locator, is known as a Compact Gamma-ray Monitor or CoGaMo, the Japanese name for a type of small duck local to Kanazawa. Alongside the existing network of detectors, the team has now placed ten CoGaMos in people’s gardens and homes. Most participants are friends of friends, with word having spread through a network of eager high-school teachers, says Ikkatai, who coordinates the citizen-science element of the project.

Later this year, after recruiting more participants in the citizen-science effort, the team hopes to have 50 detectors in operation, and 100 next year. The array would cover the region with detectors spaced about 1 kilometre apart. Although the full citizen-science project has yet to roll out, it already “gets more attention than my original area of X-ray astronomy”, says Enoto.

To recruit citizen scientists, the team has partnered with forecasting firm Weathernews, which already uses a fleet of volunteers to take and submit photos that improve the company’s live weather reports. Members of the public will be able to use the Weathernews web system to upload photos during storms, and people with a CoGaMo detector will receive automatic prompts to do so during γ-ray glows.

Such data will be invaluable, says Enoto, revealing features such as cloud structures, geometry, size and colour during the events. “The big question I want to know is, what kind of thunderstorms can generate γ-rays?” he says. “We do not know what the difference is between the standard type of thunderstorm to the strange type that shows γ-rays.”

Citizen photos will give a more complete picture of a thundercloud’s features when it produces γ-rays than would be possible with just radar or other conventional methods, says Vanna Chmielewski, an atmospheric scientist at the US National Severe Storms Laboratory and the University of Oklahoma, both in Norman. “The citizen-science part is honestly one of the things about the work that I am the most excited about,” she says.

Enoto’s team wants to use its detectors to understand the size of γ-ray emitting regions, and how they vary in time and space and with a cloud’s movement. One of the keys to the group’s success is that “they’ve been able to put these things all over the place”, says physicist David Smith at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who has been studying high-energy phenomena in storms since the early 2000s.

Lightning over water

The invisible γ-ray flashes that occur in thunderstorms might be triggered by lightning strikes.Credit: Otowa Electric

Smith and his colleagues have installed a single detector system on Japanese soil, also in the Kanazawa region, in collaboration with physicist Masashi Kamogawa at the University of Shizuoka. They have seen just two γ-ray flashes so far. But Smith’s group now hopes to emulate Enoto’s approach by making smaller, cheaper and less-sensitive versions that could be produced by the hundreds and distributed widely — perhaps in collaboration with the RIKEN team. “That’s my dream,” he says.

Inside the cloud

Physicists understand the basic process behind glows and TGFs, but many questions remain. One key player is the strong electric field in thunderclouds. The field forms when rising streams of air carry ice crystals upwards past falling hail — friction between the two creates separate pools of negatively and positively charged particles in different parts of the cloud. Those fields are natural particle accelerators. If a very high-energy electron (perhaps generated by a cosmic ray from outer space) enters the cloud’s electric field, it can overcome the friction of air to accelerate to close to the speed of light4.

When that electron hits an air atom, it releases the kind of γ-ray seen in glows and flashes, in a process known as bremsstrahlung radiation. Electrons multiply because each collision can knock further electrons out of the atoms in a chain reaction, creating an avalanche of particles and a flood of γ-rays5.

In γ-ray glows, this particle cascade happens at a slow rate; in a TGF, it is explosive. Smith says it’s like the difference between a nuclear reaction at a power plant and what happens in a fission bomb.

The mystery is in the details. The accelerator mechanism that researchers know about can’t produce enough electrons to generate the TGF, meaning that some other process must also be at play. The link between γ-ray phenomena and lightning also remains murky. The flashes appear at the start of lightning strikes, and are possibly triggered by them, whereas glows can start minutes before lightning happens.

Enoto hopes that his project’s data will help to improve understanding of these natural particle accelerators. His detectors can see TGFs, but the flashes are so bright that they saturate the instruments, so researchers cannot yet study them in great detail. If the current field trial is successful, Wada hopes to install extra detectors in the CoGaMos that could better capture the TGFs, helping researchers to decide between rival ideas about their origins.

Researchers have posed two main possibilities. One hypothesis suggests that the electrons are released at the tip of lightning ‘leaders’ — the narrow conductive channels that occur before the larger visible lightning current. According to this idea, the extreme electric field at the tip of a leader can ionize the air, creating trillions of ‘seed’ electrons.

Another proposed mechanism, which Dwyer has termed dark lightning, says that the avalanche process itself would result in many more electrons than initially proposed, because some of the γ-rays created by high-energy electrons would trigger whole new cascades — an avalanche of avalanches.

For now, the real strength of the Japanese array will be in exploring glows, the flashes’ baby cousins. The team now sees as many as 20 glows a year in Kanazawa, and uses data from radio-frequency receivers to chart lightning — working with collaborators who detect the strength and position of strikes using radio emissions, as well as measuring precipitation and other conditions using radar.

Yuuki Wada, sitting, and Teruaki Enoto, standing in their lab

Wada and Enoto are using an expanded network to try to capture more details of γ-ray emissions.Credit: RIKEN Hakubi Research Team

The team wants to use its array to track glows as they drift for kilometres, to learn about the lifetime of the strong electric fields in storms that create them, including how particle acceleration starts, how it develops and what stops it.

In 2019, the team became the first to definitively show a growing glow suddenly terminating with a γ-ray flash, as well as lightning6. “It was a beautiful result,” says Smith. To Enoto, this is a hint that the flow of high-energy electrons that causes the glow could trigger lightning and its associated TGF, but the team needs many more observations to conclude that. The idea is an “exciting possibility”, he says.

Lightning source

What triggers lightning is one of the biggest mysteries in atmospheric science. “Benjamin Franklin studied lightning centuries ago, but there’s still so much we don’t know about how it forms and how it develops,” says Chmielewski. The problem is that the electric fields seen so far in storms seem too weak to ionize atoms in the air — the process that allows electric current in the form of lightning to connect the two regions of separated charge.

Physicist Ashot Chilingarian says there is indeed evidence that the avalanche of electrons involved could open the path for lightning leaders. His team at the mountain-top Aragats Cosmic Ray Research Station of Yerevan Physics Institute in Armenia is the only other in the world to have seen large numbers of glows, witnessing hundreds of events. They refer to the glows by a more general term — thunderstorm ground enhancements — because their detectors also pick up the electrons and other knock-on particles.

Moreover, glows often terminate in lightning, which eventually pulls the plug on the accelerator by dissipating the electric field. If the team can tease apart the conditions that cause glows to result in lightning, Wada also hopes it might be possible to use the γ-ray signal to predict strikes minutes before they hit, potentially saving lives and protecting property.

Understanding how common TGFs are, as well as what kind of lightning tends to trigger them, is important for another reason, says Smith: they can be dangerous in some situations. Glows are too weak to cause an issue, and by the time TGFs reach the ground they are usually harmless. But up close, the flashes are much more potent. If one hit a plane, for example, “in the worst case scenario, you could have people walking off the plane with visible signs of radiation sickness”, says Smith. It’s reassuring that this has never been seen, he says. And it might not be a problem for aircraft because they often trigger lightning, which means they might do so before the electric field becomes strong enough to make a γ-ray flash. But he wonders whether people on planes could receive smaller doses that go undetected. “It might result in 2 or 3 cases of cancer 20 years down the line and you would never know. But it’s important to know,” he says.

Enoto’s team is now considering putting CoGaMos on Japanese passenger aircraft to see whether they can detect such invisible radiation from the air. And they’ve got the bug for using small detectors in all kinds of location: starting in 2022, the team plans to put shoebox-sized CoGaMo-like detectors on tiny satellites called cubesats. This will enable the study of X-ray emissions from cosmic sources that are so bright they saturate billion-dollar telescopes such as NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Back at Kanazawa Izumigaoka High School, with the detector successfully secured on the roof, Wada, Enoto and their colleagues retreat to a warm classroom, where a dozen eager students soon gather. Initially shy, the students eventually pepper with Enoto with questions about the detectors, radiation and the local storms — which they had no idea could be so fruitful. Wada is delighted. “We want to make this research open to everybody,” he says.

Nature 590, 378-381 (2021)



Drones will give clouds an electrical charge in an attempt to create rainfall.
CNN — 

With a harsh, desert climate and an average rainfall of just four inches (10 cm) a year, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) needs more freshwater. In search of a solution, it has been funding science projects from around the world to try to make it rain.

One of these projects involves using catapults to launch small unmanned aircraft which zap clouds with an electric charge.

A team of scientists from the University of Reading, in the UK, initially proposed the idea in 2017. Now, the custom-built drones will soon begin tests near Dubai.

The idea is that charging droplets in clouds will make them more likely to fall as rain.

A rendering of a DP Cargospeed route with drones and trucks working within the supply chain. Drone delivery services are taking off in Dubai, and are just one way drones are becoming integrated into everyday life.

There’s been a lot of speculation about what charge might do to cloud droplets, but there’s been very little practical and detailed investigation,” says Keri Nicoll, one of the core investigators on the project. The aim is to determine if the technology can increase rainfall rates in water-stressed regions.

Nicoll’s team started by modelling the behavior of clouds. They found that when cloud droplets have a positive or negative electrical charge, the smaller droplets are more likely to merge and grow to become big raindrops.

The size of the raindrops is important, says Nicoll, because in places like the UAE which has high clouds and high temperatures, droplets often evaporate as they fall.

What we are trying to do is to make the droplets inside the clouds big enough so that when they fall out of the cloud, they survive down to the surface,” says Nicoll.

The proposal was chosen to receive a $1.5 million grant distributed over three years by the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, an initiative run by the National Center of Meteorology.

To test out the model, Nicoll and her team built four aircraft with a wingspan of two meters. These are launched from a catapult, have a full autopilot system, and can fly for around 40 minutes.

Each aircraft has sensors for measuring temperature, charge, and humidity, as well as charge emitters – the part that does the zapping – that were developed with the University of Bath in the UK.

The unmanned aircraft carry sensors and charge emitters.

So far, testing has been conducted in the UK and Finland, and ground-based measurements of cloud properties taken in the UAE. The research has been published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology.

Because the pandemic meant Nicoll’s team couldn’t travel to the UAE, they have trained operators from a flight school in Dubai to use their aircraft. They’re now waiting for the right weather conditions to complete the tests.

Cloud seeding

As climate change alters weather patterns, causing severe droughts in some places and floods in others, there is a growing interest in how to control the weather. According to the World Wildlife Fund, two thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages by 2025.

While the University of Reading project is coming to an end this year, Nicoll wants future projects to combine charging clouds with cloud seeding an existing weather modification technique where drones inject particles of silver iodide or salt into clouds to encourage them to rain or snow.

Nicoll says using charged salt particles could make cloud seeding more efficient.

Alya Al Mazroui, director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, says the organization is already experimenting with cloud seeding. “An increasing number of countries have invested in weather modification research and applications, particularly those in arid regions such as the UAE,” she said/



Earth's surface is 71 percent water, but the Middle East and North Africa have access to barely any of it. The region is the <a href=;>most water-scarce in the world</a>, home to just one percent of the world's freshwater resources.
Water scarcity —

Earth’s surface is 71 percent water, but the Middle East and North Africa have access

UIG via Getty Images

Countries in the region are withdrawing water from underground reservoirs faster than it can be replenished. This is mainly to irrigate farmland: agriculture accounts for nearly 80% of water usage in MENA, according to <a href=>a report from the World Bank</a>.<br /><br />Pictured here: Crop circles in Saudi Arabia draw on groundwater for irrigation.
To overcome water scarcity and meet increasing demand, MENA countries have long been producing their own water. A popular method is to separate salt from seawater in a process called desalination. Approximately<a href=;> 75% of worldwide desalinated water</a> is produced in MENA, at plants like this one in Tel Aviv, Israel.
MENA accounts for nearly half of the world's desalination capacity, according to <a href=>World Bank calculations</a>, making it the largest desalination market in the world. Desalination is widely practiced in the oil-rich nations of the Gulf, at plants like this one in Qatar.  
Libya relies on its subterranean aquifers. Since 1991, the Great Man-Made River -- a network of underground pipes -- has carried groundwater from southern Libya to places like the Ajdabiya reservoir, pictured here, on the northern coast.
Another nonconventional water resource is treated wastewater. Wastewater is typically recycled at treatment plants, like this one in Jordan, for use in irrigation.
Physical, chemical and biological processes are used to remove contaminants from wastewater.
But desalination in the Middle East has a significant environmental cost<strong> </strong>because it relies on energy-intensive thermal desalination plants. Waste left over from the process is often discharged into the sea and can damage marine ecosystems. Here, discharge from a plant in Kuwait flows into the Persian Gulf.<br />
The United Arab Emirates has invested in another solution to tackle the water problem -- rainfall-enhancing technology called cloud seeding. During cloud seeding missions, aircraft eject salt crystals from flares mounted on their wings to stimulate condensation and the growth of water droplets.
"Rain enhancement has the potential to offer a more cost effective, sustainable and much less environmentally damaging option than other solutions, such as desalination," Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science told CNN. The salts used for seeding are "no more toxic than table salts," she added.
The UAE conducted 242 cloud seeding missions in 2017, the National Center of Meteorology and Seismology told CNN.

According to the <a href=>International Desalination Association</a>, more than 300 million people around the world rely on desalinated water for their everyday needs.

However, according to a <a href=;>World Bank report</a>, 57 percent of the wastewater collected in MENA is returned to the environment untreated.

The Middle East and North Africa’s battle against water scarcity

The UAE conducted 242 cloud seeding missions in 2017, according to the National Center of MeteorologyIn 2018, Al Mazroui told CNN that rain enhancement could offer a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution to water security than alternatives like desalination, where salt is removed from seawater. The UAE has one of the largest desalination operations in the world, with huge quantities of brine produced as a byproduct. But discharging brine into the sea can harm marine life.

Other countries that have heavily invested in cloud seeding include the US and China. The latter announced last December that it would expand its weather modification program to cover an area of over 5.5 million square kilometers.

But there are questions over whether seeding clouds in one location might take rain away from another location, and the long-term environmental impacts of silver iodide. The process is also very expensive.

There’s still a long way to go to definitively see how effective cloud seeding weather modification is at enhancing rainfall,” says Nicoll.

But we may soon be one step closer to finding out how effective cloud zapping can be.

You must realize that all the infrastructure and equipment required for them to be conducting these experiments and performing their current level of Weather Modification did not happen overnight.  They have been building this for years.  Every step of the way trying an crazy, wild, irresponsible experiment their little minds could dream up.