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Scientists from several countries are participating in a study at Langmuir Laboratory, New Mexico to find out what causes thunderstorms and the associated lightning and rain. Their tools include rockets, airplanes, a laboratory in the sky, and a powerful IBM information processing system.

Langmuir Laboratory, supported primarily by the National Science Foundation, is literally a laboratory in the clouds. Built atop a 10,600-foot peak in the Magdalena Mountains west of Socorro, New Mexico, the laboratory site is unique in that thunderstorms occur almost daily during the summer and autumn, directly above and around the lab.