According to Espy, controlling the weather was relatively simple. Apparently, it just required relocating hot air into the cooler upper atmosphere, artificially causing condensation to form. And in this manner, rain could be produced. In fact, he even advocated the burning of forests as a method of inducing precipitation in Appalachia.
Although Espy’s ideas might seem outlandish today, he was apparently regarded as the foremost weather expert of his time. And in 1843, he secured a position as the U.S. Government’s first official meteorologist. In fact, although his theories about rainfall proved inconclusive, his work laid the foundations for much of the forecasting that we do today.