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This profile was last updated on 11/28/12  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Charles L. Hosler Jr.

Wrong Charles L. Hosler Jr.?

Email: h***@***.edu
Local Address:  Pennsylvania , United States
Penn State University
200 Innovation Blvd. Suite 119
University Park , Pennsylvania 16802
United States

Company Description: Penn State University Penn State is designated as the sole landgrant institution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The University's main campus is located in...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Professor Emeritus
    College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
  • Emeritus Professor of Meteorology


  • Ph.D.
14 Total References
Web References
"Not really," says Charles L. ..., 11 Aug 2009 [cached]
"Not really," says Charles L. Hosler, Penn State professor emeritus of meteorology and former Vice President for Research.
"Back in medieval France, people would shoot cannons into the clouds to try to prevent crop-damaging hail," says Hosler. But it wasn't until the 1940s that human attempts to influence the weather had any real results. "A series of weather modification experiments carried out by General Electric Laboratories showed that releasing chemicals such as silver iodide into supercooled clouds caused droplets to turn to ice at higher than normal temperatures and the ice crystals to grow large enough to fall as snow or rain, a practice known as seeding," Hosler explains.
This discovery was met with great excitement. In 1951, a Senator from the arid state of New Mexico introduced the Weather Modification Act, which proposed the establishment of a commission to control U.S. weather with the goal of creating "an equitable distribution of precipitation among the states. But despite the hype, some scientists, including Hosler, had their doubts.
"On a cloud-by-cloud basis, and on some types of clouds, seeding worked," says Hosler. "For example, during very cold conditions, it would be possible to clear fog over an airport for long enough for a plane to land. But in order to have an impact on the weather on the scale necessary to redistribute rainfall around the United States, or to change the weather ahead of a big event "the clouds in thousands of cubic miles of airspace would have to be seeded at just the right time and place, and that isn't viable. The idea that a minor alternation in a cloud process could overcome the multitude and magnitude of forces that determine where and when it rains is a gross oversimplification of the process that produces rain on a large scale," he adds. Under most conditions, seeding has no impact at all. Nature is in charge."
Hosler participated in experiments in weather modification in the U.S. throughout the 1950's, 60s and 70s. "Our goal was to investigate the many mechanisms that play roles in the production of precipitation," he recalls. "There were experiments to seed clouds to produce rain or snow, to prevent hail and lightning, and even to reduce the intensity of hurricanes."
The fact that weather is a constantly changing entity made the results difficult to interpret, leading to open hostility between opposing research groups. Hosler recounts an attempt by a commercial group to prevent hail in southern Pennsylvania. "A thunderstorm detected by radar would be seeded, and sure enough, the thunderstorm would dissipate within 20 to 30 minutes. However, Hosler notes, "Further investigation showed that thunderstorm or rain shower cells in that region would naturally dissipate in about half an hour-so the seeding was really not having any effect."
In time, these attempts at weather modification were terminated, Hosler adds. "With the technology of the times, they could not demonstrate any effect of seeding. Variations in weather could occur based on so many different factors. We came to the conclusion that the impact that humans can have on controlling weather is negligible."
But that doesn't mean that weather modification is impossible. "There is no doubt in my mind that one day, we will be able to alter precipitation patterns in a predictable manner," says Hosler. "But that will be some time in the future," he predicts. " We will have to improve our understanding of cloud physics and dynamics, our ability to monitor weather on a real-time basis, and better understand the physical processes going on in clouds."
What of China's claims that they engineered the clear skies on opening night?
"Having a grand sounding weather modification office, and releasing press reports about weather control makes a country sound powerful," concludes Hosler. "It was likely a P.R. stunt to create a splash in the run up to the Olympics."
*** Charles L. Hosler, Ph.D., is professor emeritus in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and former Vice President for Research, and can be reached at
Kiwanis Club of the Friendly City Weekly Newsletter for, 1 Jan 2003 [cached]
Charles Hosler - Fact and Fiction on Global Warming, and the Future Trend in Hurricane Activity.Mr. Hosler was a referral to us from another civic club's program chairman.Among other career duties, he was a weather, hurricane and typhoon forecaster for the Air Force, and a program director for the EPA's Meteorology Lab.He now lives in Fearrington Village, and has taught on environmental topics at Duke.
Emeritus professor of meteorology ..., 28 May 2009 [cached]
Emeritus professor of meteorology Charles L. Hosler asserts that the good weather that day was coincidental. While the impact that humans can have on the weather is currently negligible, Hosler predicts that in the future we will be able to alter precipitation patterns in a predictable manner. (more)
Chair: Charles L. Hosler, ..., 1 Oct 1999 [cached]
Chair: Charles L. Hosler, The Pennsylvania State University []
Pennsylvania Highways:  May 31, 1985 Tornado Outbreak, 31 May 1985 [cached]
Penn State University Meteorology professor Charles Hosler, and former American Meteorological Society president said after the tornadoes, "Those of us who are in the business and have seen this Doppler system work feel there is a terrible, unnecessary loss of life occurring all over the country."The wondering of "could more have been done?"
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