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Piedmont - shooting at the sky during thunderstorms

Pauline

Forums Admin
#1
I am in the Piedmont near Asti on vacation, staying in a village surrounded by vines. Right now it is overcast and a thunderstorm may be coming in. Cannon shots or gun shots are going off all around me. I read they fire into the clouds to prevent hail which would damage the vines. Really?

This happened the day we arrived and we had no idea what was going on. Then it was thunder and lightening and these booms.
 
#3
I am in the Piedmont near Asti on vacation, staying in a village surrounded by vines. Right now it is overcast and a thunderstorm may be coming in. Cannon shots or gun shots are going off all around me. I read they fire into the clouds to prevent hail which would damage the vines. Really?

This happened the day we arrived and we had no idea what was going on. Then it was thunder and lightening and these booms.
That's a good thing to know. In this world, one might become very frightened.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
#4
From Joe’s link: hail canons - These devices frequently engender conflict between farmers and neighbors when used,[1] because they are repeatedly fired every 1 to 10 seconds while a storm is approaching and until it has passed through the area, yet there is no scientific evidence for their effectiveness.

We thought gun shots at first, then I thought echoing thunder, but there was a note in the house about this, not quite explaining it. Good to know it is shockwaves not something being shot up into the clouds. After all the booms this afternoon, it did not rain
 

joe

100+ Posts
#5
The first time I heard of these was from a farmer in Canada almost twenty years ago. He didn't have one himself, but we were talking about hail damage to his house and crops ( I was helping him re-paint the outside walls, and noticed the damage). I had no idea that these are used regularly anywhere, and was under the impression that they are rather esoteric. Farmers are a hard group to dissuade..... ;)
 
#6
Not sure whether smoke pots are better or worse.

Hail can wreak shocking destruction, especially after flowering. An unlucky producer can lose 90% of their crop in a single storm, and in the worst cases vines are killed outright or the impact felt the following year as well. For some reason the Langhe seems particularly vulnerable.
 

Roz

500+ Posts
#8
We have cannons or some kind of gunshots going off quite a bit in Napa at harvest time, to scare the birds away from the grape vines. Of course, they only fire blanks, but they are pretty controversial because of the noise. But I never heard of shooting into clouds to prevent hail.
 

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