I am asking this question intrigued by the fact that in certain religious books (mostly Arabic) it is stated that rain and hail comes from the sky (heaven) and not from Earth. They probably did not know that rain and hail comes from clouds. My question is when did many understand this fact?

  • 1
    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
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    Note: I did the google search, and this is not a trivial question. Congratulations on a surprisingly interesting question.
    – MCW
    Sep 13 '17 at 1:28
  • regarding a recent edit, "What were some" questions are problematic.... Sep 14 '17 at 4:35
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    @AaronBrick ok edited.
    – Tiger
    Sep 14 '17 at 18:41

In the Middle Ages and into the early Renaissance 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 threatened, the best response was thought to be to ring the church bells or fire cannons 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 cannons and holy water.

  • Where in the Summa can that be found?
    – Nacib Neme
    Jan 10 '20 at 20:54

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