Today's Forecast: Partly Cloudy with a chance of DOOM!
"Bow before COBRA and my WEATHER DOMINATOR! Or I'll crank the humidity so high no ass-crack will ever be dry again! An eternity of swamp ass!"
A machine that seems to be able to control elements in the atmosphere to create or disperse clouds, incude said clouds to rain or generate lightning, or even cause full-fledged hurricanes, sometimes with such destructiveness that it doubles as a Doomsday Device
in its own right; sometimes, the device may somehow be able to cause phenomena that have no relation to weather at all, because TV writers seem to not bother to differentiate meteorological natural disasters from non-meteorological ones
. The device is more often than not never used for any practical application
or to make money directly
, which messes with the Willing Suspension of Disbelief
. All in all, the whole idea of controlling such a nebulous concept as "weather" is... just odd. It hasn't stopped people from trying though.
Often the cause of Weather Dissonance
If the machine is destroyed, naturally everything will go back to the "default" weather setting of that area
regardless of whatever new elements were introduced into the atmosphere to produce these new weather patterns.
Also see Snow Means Cold
and Weather of War
. See Weather Manipulation
for the superpower version. Compare Artificial Outdoors Display
for when even the weather itself isn't real.
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Anime and Manga
- Nami, the Straw Hat Pirates' navigator in One Piece has the Clima Tact, a small-scale weather control machine built by Usopp. While initially requiring Nami to think outside even Usopp's original specs to use effectively, Usopp has since upgraded it to allow Nami to easily rain lightning down on foes and create deceptive mirages in the heat of battle.
- The Alabasta arc also introduced to us another weather control device known as Dance Powder. When burned, it creates rainclouds...by stealing the moisture away from other clouds. Obviously, this stuff is outlawed.
- An brief off hand line by Sasami in the Tenchi Muyo! OAV suggests that Jurai has weather control technology.
- Doraemon has several divices in his pocket that can control weather in a sort of way.
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai episode 3. Ikuyo Suzuki's greatest invention, Tenki-kun.
- DC Comics has the The Flash Rogue the Weather Wizard. Traditionally he uses a wand with weather control technology built in, though there have been some indications he actually has innate weather powers.
- The Weatherman, a villain from the Bananaman comic book and animated series, had one of these.
- Thor's hammer in Marvel Comics.
- The weather is controlled by humans in Judge Dredd. They went on the fritz after suffering damage during the East Meg (former Soviet block) invasion of Mega City One, making the climate shift rapidly between snow storms and heat waves. The low visibility in particular worked to the advantage of the hit-and-run tactics carried out by Judge Dredd's guerilla forces.
- One of The Smurfs once built such a device. Things soon went awry.
- Dilbert's Garbage Man has a machine that controls the weather.
- Atomic Robo has Otto Skorzeny build a "weather cannon." Lampshaded immediately, as Robo claims that it is doomed to failure just because it is so ridiculous (especially since they thought they were building super long distance railgun artillery, which would have been much more useful). He also brings up how inefficient it is, since its one claim to fame was delaying Operation Overlord by two days, despite being in production for months.
- In PS238, the fact that the school is covered by Weather Satelites is frequently mentioned (and, at one point, weaponized), but even their control cannot stand up to the powers of The Rainmaker. (He's a lot more dangerous than he sounds.) The ghost of a nameless Native Shaman apparently also had weather-control powers when he was alive, and eventually gets to use them when he possesses a student with the ability to channel ghostly powers...
- In the first arc of the Mighty Avengers we learn that Tony Stark (already on the edge of the Moral Event Horizon after the Civil War) has launched weather altering satellites into orbit. They are hijacked by Ultron.
- In the Legion of Super-Heroes comics, it's the 31st century and all weather is machine-controlled.
- In American Flagg, Sprite, a forgotten Cold War Soviet satellite programmed to disrupt voting patterns in the 1996 U.S. presidential election, is accidentally activated by a meteorite collision. This causes extraordinary blizzard conditions in 2031 Chicago.
- Subverted in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series: Brainstorm's weather maker actually just creates the illusion that the weather has changed.
- In the Harry Potter fic Make a Wish Harry was visiting Moscow when a mysterious old man who called himself General Winter gave him a book of weather control spells. He later used it to create enough wind to kick up a sandstorm so that he and some of his friends could sneak into a bandit camp in Egypt and rescue another friend whom they'd kidnapped.
Films — Animated
- WALL•E: The Megacorporation known as Buy n Large had established a Global Weather Control System. The system was made of satellites that would change and control the weather in the areas that they were in. The system worked so well that soon Buy n Large even launched a program were citizens can book certain weather in the areas where they live. Such as, scheduling a Thunderstorm during a parade so that it will literally "rain on their parade."
- Igor: It's revealed that the perpetual gloomy weather in Malaria was caused by one of these.
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Flint Lockwood accidentally creates a machine that makes it rain food.
Films — Live-Action
- The Ultimate Christmas Present is a weather machine that causes it to snow in Los Angeles.
- Japanese movie Kaijûtô no kessen: Gojira no musuko
- The second Williams And Ree movie, subtitled Totem Recall, pitted Bruce and Terry against a mad scientist and his weather machine gone amok.
- Zoom: Academy for Superheroes freatures an "Outdoor Survival Simulator", which can generate wind, rain, lightning, snow, tornadoes and earthquakes. Our child protagonists use it it to beat the ever lovin' crap out of Chevy Chase.
- Murder by Death: Mr. Twain has a weather device that creates a thunderstorm that prevents our protagonists from leaving the house as per the cliched detective story fashion.
- Weather Wars (aka Storm War): A Mad Scientist played by Stacy Keach invents a device that can create any weather on a whim, using simply a cell phone and relay devices, and uses it to lay siege to Washington, D.C. as Disproportionate Retribution for his project's funding being cut. At first he is only capable of causing basic weather events, such as rain, tornadoes and targeted lightning strikes, but later on he connects his invention to a decommissioned nuclear power plant, dramatically boosting its power and allowing him to create gigantic hail and ice storms. He is ultimately defeated when the heroes improvise their own version of the system by using satellites and missiles to create tornadoes that destroy his hideout.
- Ben Bova's The Weathermakers is the story of a government agency that controls the weather.
- Sidney Sheldon's Are You Afraid of the Dark is the story of a think tank that builds technology powerful enough to create hurricanes, tornadoes, and tsunamis.
- Michael Crichton's State of Fear, ecoterrorists plan to create a tsunami, calve an iceberg, and induce flash flooding and hurricanes.
- Normand Lester's science thriller Verglas, the 1998 icestorm that struck the Montréal area is an experiment by The Pentagon in the development of a climactic weapon that went wrong. The book speculate that ULF waves generated by a transmitter at Siple Station, a US base in Antarctica, caused the icestorm by affecting the ionosphere over Québec.
- In The Giver, though the mechanics of it are never discussed, it's made clear that the Community's leaders know how to control the weather within the confines of the Community. For the people that live there, things like snow and rain are completely unknown, and the sun is always faint enough that no one apparently knows what a "sunburn" is. Fittingly, taking a sled ride in the snow, getting a sunburn, and getting a leg fracture after slipping on ice are some of the first memories that Jonas receives. When he escapes with Gabe, he has to deal with harsh weather for the first time in his life, and nearly freezes to death in the snow.
- Weather Wardens by Rachel Caine, the Wardens are an association of people who have the ability to control the elements - earth, fire and weather. They manipulate these elements to stop natural disasters from devastating mankind. The main character herself is a Weather Warden, so weather manipulation plays a large role throughout the series.
- Roger Zelazny's The Chronicles of Amber an openly known quality of the Jewel of Judgment is the ability to control the local weather.
- Frank Herbert's Dune series, weather control is widespread, and is achieved with specialized satellites in orbit around a planet.
- The female magic-users of the Sea Folk in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time primarily used their channeling to produce winds favorable for their boats. Their assistance in using a ter'angreal, the "Bowl of the Winds," to overcome a prolonged magical drought was a major plot point in the middle of the series. In this case, however, No Ontological Inertia was averted:
Caire: Do you think Weaving the Winds is like throwing the helm over on a darter? I just moved the rudder on a skimmer with a beam as broad as the world! He will take time to turn, time to know he is supposed to turn. That he must turn. But when he does, not the Father of Storms himself will be able to stand in his way.
- In the Vampire Hunter D novels, weather control systems used to be ubiquitous in the now-extinct vampire civilization, used for practical purposes as well as entertainment, and were occasionally even weaponized. They, like everything else is breaking down After the End, resulting in some highly unpredictable or just plain unnatural weather patterns in large portions of the planet.
- In Robert E. Howard's The Hour of the Dragon, Xaltotun tries to trap Conan the Barbarian by creating a flood with rains. He dismisses it as a fluke when it fails; actually, other magic was used against it.
- In one of the Ringworld novels, the explorers create a living weather control machine by provoking some laser-firing plants to direct their beams at a shallow sea. This causes a huge cloud of steam to rise, and sets off a localized rainstorm that continues indefinitely.
- In Orson Scott Card's Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, the world of Twenty Minutes into the Future is recovering from wars and environmental disasters of the 20th and 21st centuries, and weather control satellites are the only means of keeping the remaining farmland fertile. Unfortunately, the increasing cloud cover means that they will stop being effective at some point, leading to worldwide starvation, contributing to the total collapse of human civilization. The loss of industry will also mean that humans will be unable to repair (or even reach) them.
- The gamemakers of The Hunger Games have complete control of the environment in the arena, including the weather and whether it's day or night. They use it several times in the 74th games to up the drama.
- In Time For The Stars, the Long Range Foundation exists to invest in research and development that will take decades or longer to pay off, such as the interstellar voyage that makes up the main storyline. Another of the things invested in is the weather-control machines that make a brief appearance towards the end of the story.
Live Action TV
- The Six Million Dollar Man/The Bionic Woman crossover three-part episode "Kill Oscar": The Mad Scientist Doctor Franklin had a Weather Control Machine.
- The Seventies Wonder Woman first season episode "Judgment From Outer Space": The alien Andros had a necklace medallion that could (among other things) control the weather.
- Doctor Who had one, in "The Moonbase" and again in "The Seeds of Doom".
- In Star Trek a lot of planets have weather control machines. A pair of Q turned human were killed on Earth when the weather controllers "mysteriously" malfunctioned, and the Ferengi set theirs to have constant downpours. In Deep Space Nine's "Let He Who is Without Sin" we learn that Pleasure Planet Risa has machines that keep the weather constantly pleasant and some aliens from the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Tattoo" were able to create storms with theirs.
- "The Touchstone" in Stargate SG-1.
- In their early appearances, Asgard vessels can apparently summon thunderclouds and lightning for visual effect when they swoop in and get their Gunship Rescue on. This is dropped in later seasons, as they stop flying their ships in atmosphere.
- One of the most popular and famous storylines on General Hospital involved disabling one so the evil Cassadines would not freeze the world. No, really. Luckily Luke and Laura, the show's Official Couple, managed to save the day from the Big Bad who was controlling it.
- An episode of Sliders had a world ruined by the U.S. and Soviet weather control machines...........
- The Nineties remake of The Tomorrow People had a villain who was an American cereal magnate with such a machine; in a more thoughtful example than most, his Evil Plan was to use it to destroy the corn harvest of the United States in order to make his own stockpiles more valuable a la Egypt in The Bible.
- Lost in Space episode "The Space Trader" uses a weather control machine to force the Robinsons to depend on him for supplies.
- The Made-for-TV Movie Get Smart, Again!, features the criminal organization KAOS with a weather control machine that they use to hold the world hostage.
- The original series episode "Ice Station Siegfried" also had one. a giant fan that blows cold air to freeze the world.
- There are weather control satellites in GURPS: Ultra-Tech but they're huge, expensive and limited in effect.
- In Warhammer 40,000, the Imperium of Man, Eldar, and Tyranids are all capable of massive weather alterations, but only the Necrons take it a step further and use weather control for military purposes, though they reserve it for a larger scale than most games.
- Dungeons & Dragons has a lot of this, starting from 'Control Weather' spell.
- Controlling the weather is one of the more common special powers afforded to the darklords of Ravenloft, to better control their domains, although they generally don't need a device to do it.
- Forgotten Realms got some impressive magic for this, too, up to Killing Storm spell that scoured a forest kingdom for 3 month so thoroughly it's still a near-desolate moor 10,000 years later. Netheril was covered in permanent 'Mavin's Worldweave' climate-shifting spells until most of it became subtropical, then water-drained by longterm 'Lifedrain' spells of Phaerimm — which explains why there's a hot desert so far up North that it borders a big glacier. In the middle of its North side lies the High Ice — over 30 millenia earlier, before continents' shapes changed, this area was swamped by the Sarrukh to drive out the Phaerimm. This kind of worked, but upset local ecological balance enough to do in their own empire too — which maybe gave Phaerimm ideas about drying spells and ecological warfare the next time. To the East stands the Great Glacier — a mountainous pile of ice grown around the tomb some power buried with his ice-related artifact; it used to cover Damara and Vaasa too, south of them was a forest of elves who they stopped its spread with magic; much later it shrunk for no obvious reason. Many of Elven mythals make local weather more pleasant and stable. As to the High Ice, returned Netherese melted a good portion, upsetting the climate over half of the continent... In short, for many millenia Faerûn didn't even have completely natural weather patterns.
- Men In Black Tabletop Game. The Weather-Control Device was created by the T'skrine aliens. It could alter air pressure, temperature and humidity at a range of up to 5 miles. These changes could cause precipitation (rain or snow), a heat wave or fog.
- Hollow Earth Expedition, supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth. In the city of Atlantis, the Vril-ya priests can use the Great Crystal to control the weather, including calling down lightning strikes.
- Inverted in the Ar tonelico series. The weather control devices (called the Musical Corridor/Wings of Hynemos depending on the game) are part of the devices that allow people to survive at the extreme altitude at which they've been forced to live.
- In Red Alert 2, one of these is the Allied superweapon. Somewhat justified in that the entire American nuclear arsenal was destroyed in the game's intro, so they had to turn to new ideas for superweapons.
- The Scrin in Command and Conquer 3 have the ability to artificially induce storms, which make certain units even better.
- One of the new rewards introduced in The Sims 2: Seasons.
- In Elements Of Destruction, you are one of these. Or rather, you're a Mad Scientist with a weather control machine, and attack your enemies with earthquakes, tornadoes and thunderbolts.
- In City of Heroes, one of the Arcs on the Hero-side involves stopping Nemesis from using his Weather Control Machine to destroy or conquer the city! Of course, Nemesis is nothing if not 'old skool'...
- Sonic & Knuckles, Mushroom Hill Zone Act 2, shows not just the weather changing, but the seasons as well. It goes from summer, to autumn (complete with leaves falling from trees), to winter, in less than 10 real-time minutes. Then, just before the boss fight, you destroy the machine that's causing it (a radar dish shooting lightning into the sky) and the level immediately reverts to summer weather.
- Inverted in Star Fox Assault, where the machine keeps the frequent blizzards on Fichina in check, and needs to be repaired before the planet becomes completely uninhabitable again.
- This is likely based on Titania in the original Star Fox, where the level starts in a blizzard, and halfway though you deactivate the weather control machine to clear the sky.
- These show up all the time in various games in the Mega Man series, usually without any particular relevance to the plot, but just for fun effects on various levels.
- Made important in Mega Man Battle Network 2 when the computer suppressing the planet's weather is hacked, threatening to unleash years' worth of earthquakes and storms on the planet. Also in Battle Network 6.
- In Touhou Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, Tenshi Hinanai's Sword of Hisou has the power to alter the weather based upon a person's temperment. She uses it to instigate Weather Dissonance, among other things.
- A weather control machine is featured conservatively in the Tribunal expansion to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind under the city of Mournhold. Unlike some other Dwemer machinations, no attempt to justify it is given. Considering one of the valid settings includes "ash storm," whether or not it was built as a genuine weather machine is worth questioning. It never actually gets destroyed, despite being used by the Big Bad as part of a scheme to inspire fear and belief in her power — it is reset to inactive at the end of the main quest-line, but nothing keeps you from going down to it and setting it to the weather you want.
- Ōkami features on of these in Kamui. It is used by demons to unleash a massive blizzard on the citizens of Wep'Keer.
- Climatrol in Phantasy Star II. Meddling with it nearly floods the entire planet. Phantasy Star III also has a similar machine to control the tides and even the moons, but here it is somewhat justified as the world is actually a giant spaceship.
- The eponymous ark in Ys VI: The Ark of Napishitim.
- The villains of Jade Empire stole a god's power, allowing them to control the weather, and specifically end a drought that was devastating the Empire. (This is their reason, or at least justification, for the act.) Unfortunately, saving the Empire meant dooming some other part of the world, and the god's absence has led to the dead being unable to move on, causing all sorts of problems.
- In Paper Mario, Huff N. Puff and his minions use of these to cover Flower Fields in clouds. The overcast is so bad that the sun actually falls into depression and leaves the sky, placing the citizens of Flower Fields (all of whom are plants) at risk.
- Die Spinne from the Xbox game Crimson Skies: The High Road to Revenge has this as one of their super weapons. It is mounted on one very large and incredibly tough zeppelin battleship.
- In Galactic Civilizations II Twilight of the Arnor, you can build these on your planets if you're Arcean. Partial subversion in that they're very much useful, increasing the quality of planets substantially.
- Weather Control is a planetary improvement in Master of Orion 2. It greatly increases farm productivity.
- In Limbo, you have to operate a machine to start a downpour.
- The Luminoth of Metroid have this as one of their wonders. It couldn't fix all the problems a recent disaster caused, though.
- Sir Raleigh in Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus has a storm machine in the shape of an airship that he uses to cause squalls and sink ships to "salvage" them.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 has one under the control of the Archylte Steppe nomads. Each weather condition has a different effect on the monster population: Sunny and rainy bring out more fauna-like monsters, cloudy spawns goblins and machines, and stormy brings out droves of Cie'th.
- A couple of different Shouts in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have this effect. Clear Skies eliminates local weather effects (like Mysterious Mist), while Storm Call does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- During one mission in Spandex Force a minor villain called the Blizzard Wizard used a specialized machine to make it snow during summertime. When the main character found him out and he gloatingly asked who else could possibly have done such a thing, they started listing half-a-dozen other people with winter-based abilities.
- In Tesla The Weather Man, this is the main premise of the game. Tesla has one of these, and he uses it to solve platforming challenges.
- Some of the symbols that can be inscribed on the tablets in Myst V: End of Ages cause the affected Age's weather to change.
- In Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault Captain Qwark has a weather controlling device that he used to create sunny weather during his presidential events. It later gets hijacked by the game's villain.
- WildStar has several, left behind by the Eldan. The first one so far is a blizzard machine in the Northern Wilds that players are tasked to turn off, as it is making rescue efforts all but impossible. A second one causes the massive tornadoes and strong winds in Galeras. Many more are waiting to be discovered.
- A weather plant can be built in Settlers 5: Heritage of Kings. It can be used to freeze the rivers, allowing you to cross them - or to thaw the ice, drowning the enemies trying to do the same.
- In Starbase Orion, Orbital Weather Controllers can be built on colonies to improve farming yields.
- One of the Cheat Commandos cartoons from Homestar Runner has Gunhaver speculating that Blue Laser are planning to buy a machine that will "turn babies into gold. Or screw with the weather."
- One of these shows up for a bit in Red vs. Blue. The concept is ruthlessly mocked in a deleted scene as Tex discusses the uses for a weather control machine in space.
- The pilot episode of GEOWeasel focuses on a rival evildoer using a rain-making device as part of a convoluted plot to take over the world.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, Chapter 19, the characters see some sort of power station in the middle of a lake. The real purpose of the station was at this point unknown, but its observed effects include the creation of clouds, massive lightning bolts, and brief downpours.
- As this Shortpacked! strip shows, Destro isn't interested in the "legitimate" approach.
- This "changing seasons montage" in Keychain of Creation turns out to just be Misho playing with a weather machine.
- Girl Genius has an arc "Gil Deals With It", where "It" is a whole army of "war stompers", and the way he deals with it is <CRAKOOM!>
: A town run by the Heterodynes
, attacked on a regular basis for hundreds of years?
Gas weapons are easy!
- In Sarab, the Hubs are facilities that control weather, among other natural phenomena.
- There is one major form of real-life weather control known as "cloud seeding", which doesn't involve a machine, but instead putting substances into clouds so the rain drops somewhere else. Results have been rather mixed, but the technique is still used fairly frequently.
- Yes, the Yanks with Tanks tried it in The Vietnam War, in something called Operation Popeye in 1966-7. When revealed to the press, weather modification for military purposes was banned by Congress and then by an international agreement.
- Except when it's done within U.S. borders, apparently, since cloud seeding is regularly performed over the various remote military installations in California and Nevada (Edwards AFB, White Sands, etc). It's considered more effective there because there aren't a whole lot of clouds over those unholy wastelands in the first place.
- It is not known whether or not this works.
- It works, but it's unclear whether it is to effective degree or not.
- Cannon-like devices that blast powerful columns of air into oncoming thunderstorms have been used by farmers to try to disrupt the formation of hailstones, protecting delicate crops over a limited area. Evidence that they work is dubious at best, however.
- The Canadian Broadcasting Centre says this is a real-life weather control machine.
- Recently, its been reported that Abu Dhabi scientists have been able to use ionizers to create rain, thunder-, and hailstorms. The results aren't conclusive yet. The best that can be said is that it has rained more than usual after switching the ionizers on, during a dry season when it shouldn't be raining much at all.
- The British science program me Bang Goes the Theory showed the actual manufacture of a cloud in a machine, and then the wind, lightning, rain and snow that came with it.
- Various weather simulators exist, which can reproduce the effects of intense winds, downpours, wind-blown sand or dust, and even lightning on a small scale. Most are used to test materials and construction techniques to ensure they are weather-resistant, or to re-create harsh weather conditions to which cars or planes might be subjected.