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El Nino: Hail And Farewell

El Nino, the weather titan that has battered the United States from coast to coast this winter, is losing a lot of its punch.

CBS News correspondent Manuel Gallegus reports that scientists tracking the weather phenomenon, are finding that cold water slowly is overtaking the villainous warm water in the Pacific Ocean. This means, he said, that El Nino-driven storms will weaken until they gradually disappear in two to three months.

Gallegus says these are the same National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologists who predicted in July that record rainfall would be recorded this winter in California and the Florida and Gulf coasts, predictions that largely came true.

There is no doubt that the winter of 1997-98 was one for the record books. California struggled with unprecedented rain with its accompanying mudslides and flooding. The Northeast was paralyzed by ice storms. Florida suffered its deadliest tornado ever, killing 42 people.

There is, Gallegus says, some sunshine among these storm clouds. The mild winter brought out some of the cherry blossoms a month early in Washington, D.C.. and in California, there is a spectacular early bloom of wild flowers.

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