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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\$ Sep 19, 2020 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\$ Sep 19, 2020 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\$ Sep 20, 2020 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\$ Sep 20, 2020 at 8:49
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That's a question I myself have been considering. The interesting part about being level 15+ is that you are reaching a point where your power is comparable to a demigod. Tldr available at end.

As mentioned in other answers: Yes you can, for the duration of the spell, hold off the effects of a hurricane. But also, its not like a hurricane cares that much about a 10 mile diameter compared to its own bulk of 2 to 3 hundred miles in diameter. And finally: If you aren't clever about it and let a hurricane hit you in the face for 1d4×1000 rounds, you will most likely lose concentration eventually (extenuating circumstances include drowning).

So what use is the spell? Well, like an illusion, the value of the spell is entirely dependent on GM buy in. If: I generate a powerful storm bank with the wind pushing that storm in a given direction: Then how does that patch of weather interact with the environment immediately outside the spell? Air comes from somewhere. You can hand wave that the matter is being displaces, called forth from elemental planes, ect., but it feels silly to say that there's a 5 ft. ring around the outer barrier of the spell where you step from calm winds summer winds to blizzard conditions.

"But Cuboned!", you say, "What if a player uses all their max level spellcasting to cast Control Weather 3 times (at time of commenting, max level druids for the 5.5e/6e/whatever-they-decide-to-call-it-who-cares-its-5.5e unearthed arcana, Druids at 20th level can cannibalize their wildshapes into an 8th level spell slot.), and use this to nefarious ends!"

I stare at you blankly. For a few seconds. And then I realize you're serious. "They're 20th level. If someone pisses them off that bad why shouldn't your player's 20th level druid be able to do that? Setting aside the consequences of concentrating for 24 hours straight of course."

If someone is abusing this spell, have an army of level 15 Druids, Rangers, Paladins, Wizards, Merchants idk, and whomever else come to slay the big bad of their own story who thinks its funny to use high level magic to terrorize continents.

So there's a good precedent for Why, at 15 and beyond, it genuinely doesn't matter if a PC Might abuse the spell.

So how do we abuse the spell? Well it would be a pain in the butt if you want to double check, but if someoen does their meteorological research, just let them do what they want. They did the research.

That aside. I would say, knowing somehow a hurricane is incoming in days, an incredibly high level caster could create series of tiny (relatively), freezing, dry, low pressure systems angled upward and into to the hurricane in such a way as to deflect and absorb the bulk of the hurricane. Control weather just Manifests these conditions within 1d4×10 minutes, so if your GM lets you push these winds out of the area of the spell to be subject to worldly conditions, you could do some good work.

That being said, the consequences to wildlife may be brutal. So think it through. Maybe, based on position and angle, you just need to send a Hot and fast system to power Up the hurricane to get it to turn a certain way.

I would run this with a very high DC Nature Check to get the results to be what you want. You can't just Do this, since obviously no one on the internet can even give a clear answer. If you fail, then the consequences could be Worse than not trying at all.

All in all, tldr, if a hurricane is rolling up, you can buy 8 hours of solice per 8th level or higher spell slot you can access. Otherwise you need to do a Lot of research or pretend your character did a lot of research, in order to manufacture the perfect anti hurricane weather system.

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