Indigenously developed ‘anti-hail guns’
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I – Geography and GS II – Policies and interventions
- To help out horticulturists who face crop damage due to hailstorms, the Himachal Pradesh government will be testing the use of indigenously developed ‘anti-hail guns’.
- The indigenous guns have been developed by IIT Bombay along with Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry at Nauni (Solan).
About the anti-hail gun
- An anti-hail gun is a machine which generates shock waves to disrupt the growth of hailstones in clouds.
- It comprises a tall, fixed structure somewhat resembling an inverted tower, several metres high, with a long and narrow cone opening towards the sky.
- The gun is “fired” by feeding an explosive mixture of acetylene gas and air into its lower chamber, which releases a shock wave
- Shock waves travel faster than the speed of sound, such as those produced by supersonic aircraft).
- These shock waves supposedly stop water droplets in clouds from turning into hailstones, so that they fall simply as raindrops.
Important value additions
- Hail is solid precipitation made of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is called a hailstone.
- Hailstones consist mostly of water ice and measure between 5 mm and 15 cm in diameter.
- Any thunderstorm, which produces hail that reaches the ground, is termed a hailstorm.
- Maharashtra is India’s most hailstorm-prone state, according to an IMD analysis of hailstorms across the country between 1981 and 2015.