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Learning From Stormy Weather

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It's been a wild winter for weather. Florida has just had deadly tornadoes, and California is soggy with rain.

Scientists blame El Niño, which is the warming of parts of the Pacific Ocean. But there's a lot scientists don't know about El Niño.

So they load up planes and fly into storms, where the winds can be as strong as a hurricane. They do computer scans. They drop special test equipment right into the clouds.

What they learn sometimes lets them warn people that storms are coming and save lives.

"We were able to issue a flash-flood warning six hours in advance for Santa Cruz County," one weather official said.

For people who live in the path of these really bad storms, that fair warning goes a long way.

From 'In The News' with CBS News Correspondent Dan Raviv. ©1998, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved

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