June 11, 2021

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).


  • 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 (waves which 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.