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Ok, I'm kinda curious about this-provided you had a high enough level caster, could one disperse the Category 5 hurricane heading for the defenseless coastal town? Re-aim or destroy the F4 tornado threatening to shred your little village?

According to the spell description, it says 'When the spell ends, the weather gradually returns to normal' (link to Roll20)

So does this mean that the hurricane/tornado/blizzard/sandstorm would only be temporarily stopped according to RAW? Or would the storm be dispersed and not return?

EDIT: Ok, after a bit of review of some responses, I thought to ask this--could a casting of Control Weather in the path of the storm (before it hits you, standing in the eye of a hurricane, etc.) have an effect?

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No, and Yes

For the initial question

So does this mean that the hurricane/tornado/blizzard/sandstorm would only be temporarily stopped according to RAW?

the answer is "no", but not for any particular rules-based reason. The operative reason is that D&D 5e doesn't simulate natural disasters, or even non-disastrous weather, in much detail. There aren't inherently low- and high-pressure weather systems, atmospheric circulations of heat, etc. If there is a tornado or hurricane in the game, it's because the DM announced one, not because it emerged from a deep, emergent combination of underlying factors.

So if you magically downgrade a mundane tornado to a modest breeze (which the spell allows, all else being equal), you've stopped 100% of what the tornado, itself, is in the game. There just aren't ambient meteorological details present in the game to "restart" it later. Whether or not the normal weather reasserts itself is just a choice the DM makes, not something a player or PC can independently determine. For RAW considerations it is, at most, more a question of if the DM considers the storm's presence to be the "normal weather" or a place or not.


For the second portion of the question

could a casting of Control Weather in the path of the storm (before it hits you, standing in the eye of a hurricane, etc.) have an effect?

the answer is an explicit "yes". Changing weather conditions like wind speed and precipitation are what the spell does. The only things it does. If a hurricane subjects a spellcaster to strong wind and driving rain, the spell explicitly can reduce those to less intense levels. Whether or not a particular character can apply the spell to do so successfully is a completely different matter-- the spell itself can produce the desired effects, and possible issues with the caster are separate.

I submit that an adventurer capable of casting an 8th level spell can, at least potentially, keep the spell going during violent storms. A 15th level adventurer is already superhuman, after all, and likely has access to resources that could support their ability to maintain concentration during weather-changing efforts. There are any number of reasons the effort might not work in a given situation, but nothing which suggests that it cannot work under any circumstances.

Whether or not the 5-mile radius of the spell is sufficient to completely break up a larger weather pattern is, as above, not defined well enough in game-mechanical terms to answer. Maybe there are decisive changes that could be made at high-leverage points in storm systems that could unravel those systems. Or maybe there aren't, but magic patches over the gaps anyways.

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Probably not.

You definitely can’t “disperse” a hurricane with it. Control weather affects the weather within five miles of you. Hurricanes are often hundreds of miles wide. You might be able to protect the town for the duration of the spell, as long as you were able to cast it at all. Which brings me to my next point.

It has a casting time of ten minutes and requires concentration.

Casting requires you to be outside. Can you concentrate on the spell in the middle of a hurricane? Probably not:

The DM might also decide that certain environmental phenomena, such as a wave crashing over you while you're on a storm-tossed ship, require you to succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw to maintain concentration on a spell.

Hurricanes and tornadoes will almost certainly break your concentration during the 1d4x10 minutes it takes for the weather to change. You don’t have that much time when a tornado is approaching, either.

It probably won’t work. Ask your DM, but I’m leaning heavily toward definitely not going to work.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this might be improved by discussing the possibility of pre-empting a storm...or what happens if a natural storm approaches while Control Weather is in effect. Does it disrupt the storm from passing through where you are? If you cast Control Weather just before the hurricane got bad enough to mess up your casting and spent the next 8 hours ripping a 5-mile wide chunk out of the storm--that'd have a significant effect. \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Sep 19 '20 at 19:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ You may think 100 DC 10 Constitution checks would almost certainly have at least a failed one, but if you have a +9 (e.g. Proficiency, +5, resistance) you instead have a 100% chance of success. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Sep 19 '20 at 21:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ How about casting Control Weather while inside a Tiny Hut? "The atmosphere inside the space is comfortable and dry, regardless of the weather outside." \$\endgroup\$ – Philip Kendall Sep 20 '20 at 7:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhilipKendall Wouldn’t work. “ Moving to a place where you don’t have a clear path to the sky ends the spell early.” And “ Spells and other magical effects can't extend through the dome or be cast through it.“ \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Sep 20 '20 at 8:49

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