That's how the neighbor of a farmer in Vermont once described a "hail cannon." The curious looking rocket-like cylinder is a "gun," pointed straight up in the air, that fires 200 mph shockwaves. It's used by farmers to protect crops from hail. But while some farmers swear by them (they say the cannons break up the hail before it hits the ground), there are scientists who say there is no proof they work:
The debate over the device's effectiveness has been raging for years. Foxnews.com explains:
Meteorologist Steve Johnson has been studying hailstorms for more than forty years and he thinks the cannons are all sound, no fury.
“As a scientist, and as far as science is concerned, they do not work,” Johnson told FoxNews.com. Farmers in the Valley beg to differ, saying the devices have helped save their crops.
“I've seen them work," Mike Thurlow, a farmer in Reedley, Calif., told FoxNews.com. "I've been in the middle of hailstorms next to them, and you get about a couple hundred acres of protection from a single hail cannon."
"They work,” Thurlow insisted.
Meteorologists and weather control experts argue that the only way to prevent hailstones from falling is to focus on the beginning stages of hail formation by seeding the cloud.