This weekend we went to the Roero wine area and after a loooong lunch we sat with friends outside and looked fearfully at the looming, darker growing clouds.
When suddenly we heard a loud boom in the distance. Followed by more booms closer by … and within minutes it sounded like we were in the middle of a WW1 battlefield. Listen to the sound (while enjoying the lovely hill side panorama) in the below video:
Totally baffled about what was going on, the locals explained to us that this is the noise of air cannons, which shoot hot, compressed air against the clouds in order to prevent hail. I had never heard of anything like this and an extensive google search in several languages only yielded in a story about using air cannons in NZ against birds who plunder the vineyards.
I am very curious about the theory behind this, I will also try next time to get actual images of these cannons. Maybe they don’t look like cannons at all! I am also wondering how tourists and locals cope with that noise and why the heck has no one ever written about this before?
If anyone has a good link on that topic, please leave it in the comments.
|[update] Ah, one has to know that they are called ‘Hail Cannons‘ to find information online! There is apparently no scientific evidence that they actually work.
They have been around since the 18th century and you can buy them at www.hailcannon.com