La Niña by July?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:42 PM GMT on June 08, 2010

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El Niño rapidly dissipated in May, and we are now very close to entering into a La Niña event, according to the latest sea surface temperature (SST) data over the tropical Eastern Pacific. The weekly SST readings in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", fell to 0.4°C below average on June 7, a full 1°C drop in just one and a half months. This puts us very close to the -0.5°C threshold needed to be considered a La Niña event, according to NOAA's latest El Niño Discussion. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology showed conditions in the Niña 3.4 region were not quite that cool--0.2°C below average for the week ending June 6. Nevertheless, the speed of the collapse of El Niño makes it likely that a La Niña event is on its way this summer, and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has issued a La Niña watch. Ten of the 23 El Niño models (updated as of May 19) are predicting La Niña conditions for hurricane season. However, as NOAA's Climate Prediction Center commented in their June 3 advisory, a number of the more reliable models are now calling for La Niña to develop this summer. They comment, "there is an increasing confidence in these colder model forecasts, which is supported by recent observations that show cooling trends in the Pacific Ocean and signs of coupling with the atmospheric circulation." Historically, about 35 - 40% of El Niño events are followed by a La Niña within the same year.


Figure 1. Atlantic named storm, hurricane, and intense hurricane activity since the active hurricane period we are in began in 1995. Both La Niña and neutral years have shown similar levels of Atlantic hurricane activity, though the figures are somewhat skewed by the record-setting year of 2005. Background photo: Hurricane Dean, taken from the Space Shuttle.

It is interesting to note that the last time we had a strong El Niño event, in 1998, El Niño collapsed dramatically in May, and a strong La Niña event developed by hurricane season. History appears to be repeating itself, and I predict the emergence of La Niña by July. Since La Niña events tend to bring lower amounts of wind shear to the tropical Atlantic, we can expect a much more active Atlantic hurricane season than usual in 2010. Since 2010 is similar to 1998 in the behavior of the El Niño/La Niña cycle, it is possible that this year's hurricane season could resemble the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season. That year had about 40% above-average activity, with 14 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes. The season was relatively late-starting, with only one named storm occurring before August 20. Once the season got going, six named storms affected the Gulf of Mexico, including two hurricanes, Earl and Georges, that passed directly over the location of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


Figure 2. Tracks of all named storms for the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season.


Figure 3. Typical regional weather anomalies observed during June - August when La Niña conditions are present. The Caribbean tends to be cloudier and wetter than average, but there is typically little change to temperature and precipitations patterns over North America. Image credit: NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Oil spill update
Light east, southeast, or south winds of 5 - 15 knots will blow today through Saturday, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. These winds will keep oil near the beaches of Alabama, Mississippi, and the extreme western Florida Panhandle, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. The latest ocean current forecasts from the NOAA HYCOM model are not predicting eastward-moving ocean currents along the Florida Panhandle coast this week, and it is unlikely that surface oil will affect areas of Florida east of Fort Walton Beach. Long range surface wind forecasts from the GFS model for the period 8 - 14 days from now show a southeasterly wind regime, which would prevent any further progress of the oil eastwards along the Florida Panhandle, and would tend to bring significant amounts of oil back to the shores of eastern Louisiana next week. If you spot oil, send in your report to http://www.gulfcoastspill.com/, whose mission is to help the Gulf Coast recovery by creating a daily record of the oil spill.


Figure 4. The oil spill on June 6, 2010 at 8:32pm EDT, as seen by Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the Italian Cosmo-SkyMed (COnstellation of small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation) satellite. A large region of oil was a few miles offshore of Pensacola, Florida. Image credit: University of Miami Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
NOAA's fact sheet on Hurricanes and the Oil Spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
Oil trajectory forecasts from NOAA
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

"Hurricane Haven" airing again this afternoon
The tropical Atlantic is quiet right now, with no models predicting tropical cyclone development over the next seven days. I'll talk about all this nothingness on my live Internet radio show, "Hurricane Haven", at 4pm EDT today. Listeners will be able to call in and ask questions. The call in number is 415-983-2634, or you can post a question in the comments area on Shaun Tanner's blog. Some topics I'll cover on the show:

1) What's going on in the tropics right now--is this typical?
2) New advancements in hurricane science presented at this month's AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology last month

Today's show, which will probably be just 1/2 hour, will be at http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.h tml. The show will be recorded and stored as a podcast, as last week's show was.

I may take a break from blogging Wednesday, as I've got some catching up to do on other duties.

Jeff Masters

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1492. scott39
Quoting SLU:


at least it's getting an honourable mention
It also gets a yellow circle.
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1491. ryang
Strong thunderstorms here in Barbados at the moment (very gusty as well)...

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1490. scott39
Quoting SLU:
Wind gusts to 51mph have been clocked in Barbados. Pretty impressive convective blow-up with this wave this morning.
What kind of wind shear is it running into?
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1489. SLU
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
NHC mentions the wave but has it at 0%.

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT WED JUN 9 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A TROPICAL WAVE MOVING WESTWARD ACROSS THE WINDWARD ISLANDS IS
PRODUCING SHOWERS AND GUSTY WINDS. THIS WEATHER SYSTEM IS EXPECTED
TO CONTINUE WESTWARD ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN WITH NO
ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR 0
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA/LANDSEA


at least it's getting an honourable mention
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1488. SLU
Wind gusts to 51mph have been clocked in Barbados. Pretty impressive convective blow-up with this wave this morning.
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1487. scott39
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I see something very interesting in this image...

Check out the area of convection over central africa north of the itcz. It's currently in the middle of the sahara and will follow the desert to the coast. Such heavy thunderstorms will reduce the SAL.
Thats what i was trying to point out last night.
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NHC mentions the wave but has it at 0%.

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT WED JUN 9 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A TROPICAL WAVE MOVING WESTWARD ACROSS THE WINDWARD ISLANDS IS
PRODUCING SHOWERS AND GUSTY WINDS. THIS WEATHER SYSTEM IS EXPECTED
TO CONTINUE WESTWARD ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN WITH NO
ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR 0
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA/LANDSEA
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14900
1485. SLU
Quoting yonzabam:
This is the complete and continuous GOES east satellite video for the whole of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, with some great music playing. Runs for 9 minutes.





a href="" target="_blank">Link


Phew!
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1484. scott39
It looks like something is going on at about 55W?
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1483. scott39
I know the Nam and Nogaps are crap, but why woudnt they be on to something, seeing how the Carribean is ripe for conditions of developement?
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Quoting IKE:
6Z GFS shows action in the extreme western Caribbean next week...
I'm not surprised. It's been showing that for about 5 runs, now we have to look for consistency and more impotently (at the moment) what it shows in the 12z run.
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Quoting Weather456:
What I don't understand is that 6 storms in 2005 - Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma - caused much of the death and destruction. Now when people say that this will not be a 2005, number-wise, does it really matter? I mean given the exceptional agreement in environmental conditions, most importantly ssts, I would say, we could have those 6 storms with the 18 named storms being predicted. The numbers of 2005 don't really matter to me, is the intensity of the individual storms this year and where they hit that does. Mitch 1998? So I find it strange when people downplay the potential of this season by using such phrases as "this is not going to be another 2005 of record breaking activity"
That's why when organizations give their numbers I disregard them and use the ACE they forecast. I just think that the ACE is much more accurate than numbers, why? Let's say they forecast a major hurricane, but what if it's a major hurricane for 6 hours over water, pretty pointless to post numbers if you ask me.
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Hi weather456...I agree with what you wrote regarding not needing many storms to cause horrendous amounts of destruction, again all it takes is one.

But I think there may be a disconnect here. When one states "this is not going to be another 2005 of record breaking activity", it does not necessarily mean "this is not going to be another 2005 of record breaking destruction and death". Those two statements are mutually exclusive. We could have 50 storms a year but if they are all fish, we need not be worried.

peace
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1478. pottery
Good Morning!
A wet, drippy one here. Overcast right now.
Going to be a bumpy ride to Tobago at 7000 feet or so.
Will check you all tonight.
I really thought that the Tropical Atlantic would look more interesting than it does today!

Thanks for the update, 456.
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Quoting yonzabam:
This is the complete and continuous GOES east satellite video for the whole of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, with some great music playing. Runs for 9 minutes.





a href="" target="_blank">Linkem>


2005 had as many upper level circulations as storms. This is what probably aided in the deepening process.
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1476. IKE
6Z GFS shows action in the extreme western Caribbean next week...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1475. skep
Quoting yonzabam:
This is the complete and continuous GOES east satellite loop for the whole of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, with some great music playing. Runs for 9 minutes.


"This video contains content from Sony Music Entertainment. It is no longer available in your country."

Don't you love the world of stupid copyrights. So, here in germany we can't watch this clip, unless maybe I use a proxy in the States to connect...
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This is the complete and continuous GOES east satellite video for the whole of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, with some great music playing. Runs for 9 minutes.





a href="" target="_blank">Link
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Quoting Grothar:
Which one?

I see something very interesting in this image...

Check out the area of convection over central africa north of the itcz. It's currently in the middle of the sahara and will follow the desert to the coast. Such heavy thunderstorms will reduce the SAL.
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1471. xcool


low 2
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1470. xcool


new .and low
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Quoting WaterWitch11:
grothar-the notification in between the usa and cuba/caribbean. i remember seeing something on the history channel on it. but seeing's how i'm tried i can't remember details.

interesting read: late october, early november hurricane

http://hubpages.com/hub/1932-Cuba-Hurricane

i kinda think this is how this season will be, systems late into the season.


I have heard horror stories about that storm from the Caymans.
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night folks!
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grothar-the notification in between the usa and cuba/caribbean. i remember seeing something on the history channel on it. but seeing's how i'm tried i can't remember details.

interesting read: late october, early november hurricane

http://hubpages.com/hub/1932-Cuba-Hurricane

i kinda think this is how this season will be, systems late into the season.
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1466. xcool
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1465. Grothar
Quoting Levi32:


I think he must mean some sort of disconnect between the US government with the Caribbean countries in terms of collecting weather observations.


That happened in the 60's
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1464. Levi32
Quoting Grothar:


What do you mean by disconnect?


I think he must mean some sort of disconnect between the US government with the Caribbean countries in terms of collecting weather observations.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
1463. Grothar
Quoting WaterWitch11:
looks like a freight train coming through grothar

levi wasn't there some kind of disconnect with the cuba/caribbean in the 30's? i'm probably remembering wrong.


What do you mean by disconnect?
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Quoting Weather456:
What I don't understand is that 6 storms in 2005 - Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma - caused much of the death and destruction. Now when people say that this will not be a 2005, number-wise, does it really matter? I mean given the exceptional agreement in environmental conditions, most importantly ssts, I would say, we could have those 6 storms with the 18 named storms being predicted. The numbers of 2005 don't really matter to me, is the intensity of the individual storms this year and where they hit that does. Mitch 1998? So I find it strange when people downplay the potential of this season by using such phrases as "this is not going to be another 2005 of record breaking activity"
I agree Weather456. All it takes is just major landfalling hurricane and it is considered a bad season.I dont know a thing about the tropical analysis or maps.But I do know my gut instinct.And it is telling me we are in for quiet a rough season this year.With of course looking at yours and StormW's posts as well.
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Quoting Levi32:


The most important thing is landfalls. It doesn't matter how many storms form out in the middle of nowhere. In the end the final count does not matter but the impact of those storms that hit land that counts the most. That is why I wish the NHC would attempt to focus more on potential impact on our homeland instead of just the total number.


The whole purpose of hurricane seasonal predictions is and should be relative to disaster responsive teams and organizations.
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1460. scott39
Quoting scott39:
LOL, I may be not even looking at a wave, but something that looks like one is still over Africa about 15N and 5E! The only reason i brought it up is because i read that the higher longitude, the better chance it had.
I meant Latitude
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1459. Levi32
Quoting WaterWitch11:
looks like a freight train coming through grothar

levi wasn't there some kind of disconnect with the cuba/caribbean in the 30's? i'm probably remembering wrong.


I'm honestly not sure. I'm not too good at the history in that area.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
1458. scott39
Quoting Weather456:
What I don't understand is that 6 storms in 2005 - Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma - caused much of the death and destruction. Now when people say that this will not be a 2005, number-wise, does it really matter? I mean given the exceptional agreement in environmental conditions, most importantly ssts, I would say, we could have those 6 storms with the 18 named storms being predicted. The numbers of 2005 don't really matter to me, is the intensity of the individual storms this year and where they hit that does. Mitch 1998? So I find it strange when people downplay the potential of this season by using such phrases as "this is not going to be another 2005 of record breaking activity"
Your right, 1979-9 storms. Hurricane Fredric destroyed the N gulf Coast. I know it was 31 years ago, but the same rule applies,it only takes 1. No hurricane season should be down played.
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I decided to look through some of the NHC discussions for 2005's Epsilon and Zeta:

Epsilon (Discussion Number One):

CONVENTIONAL SATELLITE IMAGERY...NEARBY SHIP AND BUOY OBSERVATIONS
...AND 29/0938Z QUIKSCAT SATELLITE WIND DATA INDICATE THE LARGE
NON-TROPICAL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 730 NMI EAST OF
BERMUDA HAS ACQUIRED ENOUGH CONVECTION NEAR THE CENTER TO BE
CLASSIFIED AS TROPICAL STORM EPSILON...THE 26TH NAMED STORM OF THE
APPARENTLY NEVER ENDING 2005 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON.


Zeta (Discussion Number Two):

ALTHOUGH THE ATMOSPHERE SEEMS TO WANT TO DEVELOP TROPICAL STORMS AD
NAUSEAM...THE CALENDAR WILL SHORTLY PUT AN END TO THE USE OF THE
GREEK ALPHABET TO NAME THEM.

I was amused by both, but particularly the latter. Gotta love Franklin.
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looks like a freight train coming through grothar

levi wasn't there some kind of disconnect with the cuba/caribbean in the 30's? i'm probably remembering wrong.
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1455. Levi32
Quoting Weather456:
What I don't understand is that 6 storms in 2005 - Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma - caused much of the death and destruction. Now when people say that this will not be a 2005, number-wise, does it really matter? I mean given the exceptional agreement in environmental conditions, most importantly ssts, I would say, we could have those 6 storms with the 18 named storms being predicted. The numbers of 2005 don't really matter to me, is the intensity of the individual storms this year and where they hit that does. Mitch 1998? So I find it strange when people downplay the potential of this season by using such phrases as "this is not going to be another 2005 of record breaking activity"


The most important thing is landfalls. It doesn't matter how many storms form out in the middle of nowhere. In the end the final count does not matter but the impact of those storms that hit land that counts the most. That is why I wish the NHC would attempt to focus more on potential impact on our homeland instead of just the total number.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
1454. xcool


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1453. K8eCane
night guys and gals. you all are AWESOME
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1452. xcool
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/7533568


HurricaneTrack update June 8
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What I don't understand is that 6 storms in 2005 - Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma - caused much of the death and destruction. Now when people say that this will not be a 2005, number-wise, does it really matter? I mean given the exceptional agreement in environmental conditions, most importantly ssts, I would say, we could have those 6 storms with the 18 named storms being predicted. The numbers of 2005 don't really matter to me, is the intensity of the individual storms this year and where they hit that does. Mitch 1998? So I find it strange when people downplay the potential of this season by using such phrases as "this is not going to be another 2005 of record breaking activity"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1450. scott39
Quoting Grothar:
Which one?

LOL, I may be not even looking at a wave, but something that looks like one is still over Africa about 15N and 5E! The only reason i brought it up is because i read that the higher longitude, the better chance it had.
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1449. K8eCane
i deleted this post but i wont ban myself
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1448. Levi32
Quoting K8eCane:
One too many Red Bulls for me today...The thought has occured to me that Noah was the best weatherman of all time...and how funny it is that NOAA is called that


Lol, except Noah had a little help :)
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Quoting K8eCane:
One too many Red Bulls for me today...The thought has occured to me that Noah was the best weatherman of all time...and how funny it is that NOAA is called that


That's actually pretty darn amusing. XD
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1446. xcool
Diana 1984 olddays
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1445. K8eCane
One too many Red Bulls for me today...The thought has occured to me that Noah was the best weatherman of all time...and how funny it is that NOAA is called that
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1444. Levi32
Quoting Weather456:
Levi32,

It is so difficult for me to really pay attention to mid-latitude weather. I do not know how you do it. I experienced my first hurricane at 3 months so I breath, drink and live tropics.


Wow, what a way to get introduced to weather.

Yeah it can be difficult to keep track of the other areas of the world during the height of hurricane season, but my exploration of the weather started right here in Alaska, so my first experiences were tracking winter storms up here. I didn't even understand the tropics or how a hurricane worked until the 2005 season when I learned probably more than any other year.

The tropics are now my favorite part of the weather, and my main reason for tracking the mid-latitudes is to better my skills in the tropics. I'm learning more all the time about how the entire globe can affect everything.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
1443. Grothar
Which one?

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1442. scott39
Quoting Levi32:


It's got some latitude with it yeah, though it's closer to the meridian now, not 5E.
I thought it might be one to watch because of its latitude.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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