Hail Cannon Disrupts Hailstones (Maybe), Annoys Neighbors (Surely)

Hailstones can damage fruit and trees, so farmer are keen to do whatever they can to avoid hailstorms.

Anti-hail efforts included religious rites and bell ringing, but when those don't work, the farmers use ... the hail cannon! Here's why neighbors are upset:

After a series of hailstorms devastated the orchard's apple crop in 2007, the owner resorted this summer to using a hail cannon, a noisemaking machine whose sound waves supposedly disrupt the formation of hailstones.

Scientists snicker at such devices. But farmers swear by them. As for the neighbors, they just swear.

"It sounds like artillery fire," said Gregory Connors, a 38-year-old software designer whose children have been woken up by the booms. "I'm up for everybody's right to farm. We support local farmers. But the technology and the way it's being utilized is not acceptable."

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/09/22/hail.cannon.ap/index.html - Thanks Tiffany!

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It doesn't make alot of sense that sound waves would stop hail formation. Hail forms in large thunderstorms and from what i can hear, thunder is pretty damn loud.
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We live within five miles of an apple orchard. They have been using cannons for several years. Local farmers are trying to prove there is a connection between the cannon and the serious lack of rainfall in our area for the past few years.
My husband and I load up national radar when a storm is brewing and we've watched the storms just go right around our area. We've seen big storms divide and go north and south of us. Wouldn't have believed that using cannons works if I hadn't witnessed it time and time again. The orchard is now so prolific, compared to other orchards, that our local metal worker has several requests to make cannons for the other orchards.

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