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Current Affairs

Anti-hail guns

Date: 07 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Himachal Pradesh government will be using an indigenously developed anti-hail gun for preventing horticulture crops from hail storms.

 

Details

  • The anti hail gun is a device that will create shock waves to disrupt formation of hail clouds in the sky in a particular place.

  • The device looks like an inverted structure, which has a narrow cone that stands several metres tall into the sky.

  • The device should be fed with air and acetylene gas. It will use these products to produce shock waves that are faster than the speed of the sound.

  • The shockwaves act as inhibitors that prevent water droplets from turning into hail stones. They fall as rain drops rather than hails.

 

Hailstones

  • Hailstones are meteorological phenomenon that is caused by high cumulonimbus clouds, which can also produce thunder and lightning.

  • The underlying winds are responsible for pushing the water droplets to higher altitude where they freeze and fall onto the Earth.

  • These falling frozen droplets are further pushed higher until they repeatedly freeze. More layer of water gets added on them and they turn bulky and heavy.

  • The hail guns will disrupt this process of upward movement of water clouds. The shockwaves will prevent winds from pushing them upwards and instead make them fall early.

 

Earlier instants

  • Similar guns were brought experimentally few years back. The device had not reportedly performed well and there was high cost involved.

  • The device should be fired at correct time to get the desired result. The operator must be updated about the weather conditions like wind speed etc.

  • They will have to identify the cloud that can form hail storm and has to fire at it before the process of hail formations occur.

 

Effects of hail storms

  • Hail storms destroy horticulture crops such as apples and pears. These crops have a major role in the state’s economy.

  • The government has provided farmers with anti-hail nets but these nets can provide limited safety as during extreme weather they break down and cause damage to trees underneath.