The Tornado is Staying but the Lightning Will Need to be Replaced [Title from the comments section in Unity's asset store]

“I say it should take twenty seconds before it starts raining, and then the system has twenty seconds to change into the clouds going grey, and the sun getting like less light, maybe build up some fog, if I want to, change the temperature, if I want to change that, and that’s just all settings you change, as you want them to be.” -- Tobias Johansson, Creator of Time of Day and Weather System, a weather simulation asset for the gaming platform Unity.

Historically, we’ve long believed our behavior was rewarded or punished by the weather, be it by God, Mother Nature, Zeus, Los Angeles County Public Works, or Tobias Johansson.

Along the southern foothills of California's San Gabriel Mountains, amongst rows of houses, lawns, and cul-de-sacs, are LA’s local weather modification test sites. Proposed back in 2009, these sites were recently activated after California declared a drought State of Emergency. The neighborhood lots, currently run by The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, are planted with cloud seeding flare trees. When remotely activated, the metal trees shoot silver iodine into naturally formed cloud resources, adjusting the local weather system to increase or decrease rain, snow, hail, fog, lightning, or tornadoes.

With a single button press, the local government can seed it’s ecological agendas into a cloud - a cloud that drifts over your house and produces rain over your neighborhood. Then then wind blows, taking the cloud beyond its jurisdiction.

The Government and private weather consulting firms are regulating the climate surrounding our homes through new infrastructures: suburban territories, digital interfaces, and cloud resource politics. As weather modification technologies move next door, into our backyards, and above our roof tops, citizens will begin to take ownership, extending their private, interior climate control and home automation technology beyond their walls, windows, doors, and roofs.

The Tornado is Staying but the Lightning Needs to Be Replaced uses interviews with real Weather Simulation designers to imagine how individuals or neighbors might, in the future, choreograph, ritualize and aestheticize their own micro climates that are reflective of their own social, political, and ecological perspectives. Mixing factual interviews within a fictional context, the work explores the creation of new domestic weather systems - interactions, architectures, and politics - as citizens, neighborhoods, and cities begin to define and negotiation their own climate agendas, roofs, and envelopes in this time of ecological crisis.

Weather Simulation Trailers
Video created by Weather Simulation Designers on the Unity gaming platform.