An optimal design of a cylindrical polarimetric phased array radar (CPPAR) for weather sensing is presented. A recently introduced invasive weed optimization (IWO) technique is employed to obtain the desired radiation pattern of the CPPAR. Instead of optimizing each element excitation in a large array (with expensive calculation costs), the modified Bernstein polynomial distribution, defined by seven parameters, is used to optimize the current distribution for the CPPAR. The simulation results show that the desired sidelobe levels (SLLs) and beam width are achieved in a computationally effective manner. Furthermore, the imaged feed arrangement is used to suppress the cross-polarization level. Both co-polar and cross-polar radiation patterns for broadside and off-broadside directions are presented to show the performance of the optimized CPPAR.