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Thread: Hail Cannon

  1. #1
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    Question Hail Cannon

    I was reading my local newspaper today when I came across an article about the hail cannon and a orchard in southern VT and how it saves the crop from hail. Since you folks are the weather experts, what's your take on this; fact, fraud, or somewhere in between?

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    Last edited by Gorque; 09-23-2008 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Forgot to link to the manufacturer
    Every landscape which is dreary enough has a certain beauty to my eyes, and in this instance
    its permanent qualities were enhanced by the weather. H.D. Thoreau

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    Wow, that must be some explosion if it reaches all the way to 20,000 feet where the hail is forming. Plus it must go out in all directions for several miles to disrupt hail forming over another farm down the road.

    Total and complete waste of time. There is no way to prove that it actually works either.

    Also, who needs a hail cannon in Vermont? One of the least hail prone states in the country. People use other cloud seeding techniques in the midwest to prevent hail damage. But they actually have fragile crops and very large hail stones. And none of their techniques involve large explosions.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
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    It must also be one heck of a nuisance as well as it fires every 4 seconds.

    An excerpt from their sales site:

    How Hail Cannons WorkThe Hail Cannon is a shock wave generator used to disrupt the formation of hailstones in their growing phase. An explosive charge of acetylene gas & air is fired in the lower chamber of the machine. As the resulting energy passes through the neck & into the cone it develops into a force that becomes a shockwave. This shockwave, clearly audible as a large whistling sound, then travels at the speed of sound into & through the cloud formations above, disrupting the growth phase of the hailstones.
    The device is repeatedly fired every 4 seconds over the period when the storm is approaching & until it has passed through the area. What would otherwise have fallen as hail stones then falls as slush or rain. It is critical that the machine is running during the approach of the storm in order to affect the developing hail stone. These machines can not alter the form of an already developed & therefore solidified hailstone.
    While the History of Hail cannons date back into the 18th century, the modern Hail Cannon has been developed largely over the last 30 years with most development in the latter 10 of those.
    The protected area for an individual machine is approximately a 500 meter radius with a lower level of effectiveness as distance from the device increases.
    Radar controlled systems are available to replace the human factor required to start & stop the unit. This is particularly important in areas subject to hails storms at night. Radio & Pager controlled is the standard method.
    Here's one of the news articles on it.

    Yahoo
    Last edited by Gorque; 09-23-2008 at 09:15 AM. Reason: News article addition
    Every landscape which is dreary enough has a certain beauty to my eyes, and in this instance
    its permanent qualities were enhanced by the weather. H.D. Thoreau

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    I'm guessing he's not a scientist.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
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    It seems eerily similar to Burt Lancaster's part as a huckster in a drought stricken town in the southwestern U.S. in "The Rainmaker". I guess if folks are desperate enough, they'll clutch at almost anything.
    Every landscape which is dreary enough has a certain beauty to my eyes, and in this instance
    its permanent qualities were enhanced by the weather. H.D. Thoreau

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    This town needs a monorail

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    I'm still waiting for that skyhook I ordered to arrive.
    Every landscape which is dreary enough has a certain beauty to my eyes, and in this instance
    its permanent qualities were enhanced by the weather. H.D. Thoreau

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    Quote Originally Posted by spyboy View Post
    This town needs a monorail
    A monorail is so 90's, MAG-LEV is the new monorail

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrad Fischroy View Post
    A monorail is so 90's, MAG-LEV is the new monorail
    China has a mag-lev that goes 270mph....and its actually in use. Seems like the perfect fit for a small VT town.
    Bill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill O View Post
    China has a mag-lev that goes 270mph....and its actually in use. Seems like the perfect fit for a small VT town.
    Why would anyone want to go that fast to get out of a nice small VT town?
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