Scientists CCOPE with storms



The sun gently noses its way above the horizon in southeastern Montana with the seeming promise of a carefree, sunny day. But that promise won't hold true for 200 scientists readying themselves for another frenetic day in the largest field research experiment on storms and thundershowers.

Fieldwork for the 4-month project dubbed CCOPE (Cooperative Convective Precipitation Experiment) began this week near Miles City, Mont. CCOPE's principal objective is to measure storm development in detail to learn precisely how rain and hail are produced, with the eventual harvest being timely warnings for severe storms and accurate precipitation predictions. This knowledge will aid in the planning of water supply strategies.