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When did man begin to understand the science behind hail? And most importantly what were some misconception associated with hail? For example "Wrath of God"?

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After looking it over, I'm not convinced that there is even today a "science of hail". Kind of surprising, considering the damage it does in my part of the USA. – T.E.D. Aug 22 '12 at 20:05
@T.E.D. I am also interesting in old age explanation of it :) – Tiger Aug 22 '12 at 20:11

In the middle ages and into the early Renisance in Europe, hail, like lightning and other severe weather phenomenon, was thought to be caused by demons in the air. Sad, but true.

From Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas:

Rain and winds, and whatsoever occurs by local impulse alone, can be caused by demons. It is a dogma of faith that the demons can produce winds, storms, and rain of fire from heaven

For this reason, whenever severe weather threatned, the best response was thought to be to ring the church bells or fire canons to frighten off the demons. Sprinkling of Holy water, praying, and other such liturgical remedies were also done to try to drive the demons away.

These days some folks try cloud seeding with silver iodide. Sadly, there isn't a whole lot of evidence this works any better than the canons and holy water.

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