Colin arrives; extreme heat records fall for Ukraine and 5 U.S. cities

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:16 PM GMT on August 03, 2010

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Tropical Storm Colin has made its debut over the Atlantic, but does not appear to be a threat to any land areas over the next five days. Satellite imagery shows that Colin is intensifying, as both the intensity and areal extent of heavy thunderstorms has increased over the past few hours. A respectable low-level spiral band is developing to the north of the center, and upper-level outflow is beginning to appear on all sides of the storm. Colin is a very small storm, and its tropical storm force winds extend out just 30 miles from the center. Colin passed about 50 miles south of Buoy 41041 early this morning, and generated top sustained winds of 27 mph at the buoy. There is some dry air associated with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) to the northwest of Colin, but this dry air is not getting entrained into Colin at present. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots and sea surface temperatures are a very warm 28 - 29°C, so continued development is likely today. The main negative for development appears to be the storm's small size, which makes it vulnerable to modest increases in wind shear or dry air entrainment. The first flight of the Hurricane Hunters into Colin is scheduled for Wednesday morning.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Colin.

Forecast for Colin
The latest 6Z (2am EDT) models are fairly unified taking Colin to the west-northwest at 20 - 25 mph for the next three days. This would bring squalls from the storm's outer rainbands to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, such as Antigua and Barbuda, by Wednesday afternoon. The center of Colin should pass to the northeast of the islands, and the storm is small enough that the islands are unlikely to experience tropical storm force winds. As Colin makes its closest approach to the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday night, the storm will begin to encounter strong upper-level westerly winds associated with the counter-clockwise flow of air around an upper-level low pressure system centered between Bermuda and Puerto Rico. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that these winds will cause wind shear to rise to the moderate level, 10 - 20 knots, by Wednesday morning, and to the high level, 20 - 30 knots, by Thursday. There is considerable dry air associated with the upper level low that should cause problems for Colin, as well. The high wind shear and dry air should weaken Colin. NHC is giving Colin a 25% chance of attaining hurricane status this week.

A trough of low pressure is expected to move off the U.S. East Coast on Friday, and this trough will pull Colin to the northwest and cause it to slow down on Wednesday. By Friday, Colin will be moving at half of its current speed. It is unclear if the trough of low pressure will be strong enough to fully recurve Colin out to sea late this week. Some of the models predict Colin will not recurve out to sea, and that high pressure will build back in this weekend, forcing Colin towards the U.S. East Coast. A second trough of low pressure is predicted to move off the U.S. East Coast next Monday, so Colin will have a second opportunity to recurve out to sea then. It is possible that Colin could make landfall along the U.S. East Coast or in the Canadian Maritime provinces 7 - 10 days from now, though it is still too early to assess the risk of this happening, nor how strong Colin might be.

Ukraine ties its record for hottest temperature in history
On August 1, Ukraine tied its record for hottest temperature in its history when the mercury hit 41.3°C (106.3°F) at Lukhansk. The Ukraine also reached 41.3°C on July 20 and 21, 2007, at Voznesensk. Sixteen of 225 nations on Earth have set extreme highest temperature in history records this year, the most of any year. The year 2007 is in second place, with fifteen such records.

Five major U.S. cities record their warmest month in history during July
July 2010 was the warmest month in history for five U.S. cities:

Las Vegas, NV: 96.2°F (old record: 95.3°F, July 2005).
Atlantic City, NJ: 79.8°F (old record: 78.7°F, July 1983)
Washington, D.C.: 83.1°F (tied with July 1993)
Baltimore, MD: 81.5°F (tied with July 1995)
Trenton, NJ: 80.5°F (tied with July 1955)

Also, in June, Miami, FL recorded its warmest month in history: 85.6°F (old record: 85.4°F in June 1998.)

Commentary
None of the 303 major U.S. cities listed in the records section of Chris Burt's book Extreme Weather has set a coldest month in history record since 1994 (these 303 cites were selected to represent a broad spectrum of U.S. climate zones, are not all big cities, have a good range of elevations, and in most cases have data going back to the 1880s.) There were just three such records (1% of the 303 major U.S. cities) set in the past twenty years, 1991 - 2010. In contrast, 97 out of 303 major U.S. cities (32%) set records for their warmest month in history during the past twenty years. It is much harder to set a coldest month in history record than a coldest day in history record in a warming climate, since it requires cold for an extended period of time--not just a sudden extreme cold snap.

Are the pattern of U.S. temperature records due to the Urban Heat Island effect?
Is the huge disparity between extreme heat records and extreme cold records in the U.S. due to global warming, or the Urban Heat Island effect? The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect occurs when development of former natural areas into pavement and buildings allows more heat to be trapped in cities, particularly at night. During the day, the UHI effect often leads to a slight cooling, since it can increase the amount of turbulence, allowing cooler air to get mixed down to the surface. For example, Moreno-Garcia (1994) found that Barcelona, Spain was 0.2°C cooler for daily maxima and 2.9°C warmer for minima than a nearby rural station.

However, temperature records are typically taken in parks and airports removed from the main heat-trapping areas of cities, and are not as strongly affected as one might expect. There are several reasons for this. One is that when tall buildings are present, they tend to block the view to the sky, meaning that not as much heat can escape upwards. In addition, the presence of moist vegetation keeps the atmosphere moister in park-like areas (which include the grassy fields near airports where temperature measurements are taken). This extra moisture helps cool the atmosphere on a local scale of tens of meters, due to latent heat effects (the energy required to convert liquid water to water vapor). Peterson (2003) found that "Contrary to generally accepted wisdom, no statistically significant impact of urbanization could be found in annual temperatures." The study used satellite-based night-light detection to identify urban areas. Recent research by Spronken-Smith and Oke (1998) concluded that there was a marked park cool island effect within the Urban Heat Island. They found that parks in typical cities in the U.S. have temperatures 1 - 2°C cooler than the surrounding city--and sometimes more than 5°C cooler. While the Urban Heat Island effect probably has contributed to some of the reduction in record low temperatures in the U.S. in the past decade, research by Parker (2004, 2006) and Peterson (2003) theorizes that Urban Heat Island effect is a factor ten or more less important than rising temperatures due to global warming.

Chris Burt wrote me yesterday about Las Vegas' all-time warmest month record set in July. He noted that none of the sites nearby Las Vegas' McCarran Airport (where the official obs are kept) came close to setting a warmest month in history record. McCarran Airport has set new warmest month in history records in 2003, 2005, and now 2010. These two facts make us suspect that in the case of Las Vegas, an urban heat island effect may be contributing to the spate of recent warmest month in history records there. The heat records for Atlantic City, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Trenton do not appear to have as much of a UHI influence, since record highs were set over such a large area of the mid-Atlantic in July.

Is the Urban Heat Island effect partially responsible for global warming?
Global warming is affecting the entire Earth, including rural areas far from cities, and the 70% of the world covered by ocean. Thus, the Urban Heat Island effect--if not corrected for--can cause only a small impact on the global temperature figures. Since the Urban Heat Island is corrected for, the impact on the observed global warming signal should be negligible. For instance, NASA uses satellite-derived night light observations to classify stations as rural and urban and corrects the urban stations so that they match the trends from the rural stations before gridding the data. Other techniques (such as correcting for population growth) have also been used. Despite these corrections, and the fact that the Urban Heat Island effect impacts only a relatively small portion of the globe, global warming skeptics have persistently used the Urban Heat Island effect to attack the validity of global warming. There are no published peer-reviewed scientific studies that support these attacks.

References
Parker, D.E., 2004, "Large-Scale Warming is not Urban", Nature 432, 290, doi:10.1038/432290a, 2004.

Parker, D.E., 2006, "A Demonstration that Large-Scale Warming is not Urban", J. Climate 19, pp2882-2986, 2006.

Peterson, T.C., "Assessment of urban versus rural in situ surface temperatures in the contiguous United States: No difference found", Journal of Climate, 16, 2941-2959, 2003.

Spronken-Smith, R. A., and T. R. Oke, 1998: "The thermal regime of urban parks in two cities with different summer climates. Int. J. Remote Sens., 19, 20852104.

The surface temperature record and the urban heat island, realclimate.org post, 2004.

Next update
I have a series of meetings today that will probably keep me from making another post, and keep me from doing my weekly Internet radio show, Hurricane Haven. I'll be back Wednesday morning, at the latest, with a new post.

Jeff Masters

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2774. IKE
Quoting Cotillion:


Your choice is to melt or be blown away at this time of year, I suppose?

Colin looks like he's come straight from a cartoon movie. He's chained to the conveyer belt (LLJ), trying so hard to struggle free before he gets blasted in the furnace (aka, the TUTT).


LOL...my choice is a nice cold front to plow through here...lowering the dew points to the 50's. Daytime highs near 80....low's in the mid 50's. Perfect weather. Plus it lessens the tropical threat.

Latest GFS @ 96 hours....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting IKE:>

Folks along the northern gulf coast look to be protected...still...by high pressure...for awhile.



Your choice is to melt or be blown away at this time of year, I suppose?

Colin looks like he's come straight from a cartoon movie. He's chained to the conveyer belt (LLJ), trying so hard to struggle free before he gets blasted in the furnace (aka, the TUTT).
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2772. IKE
00Z ECMWF...through August 14th...


Eastern ATL view...Link


SYNOPSIS FOR CARIBBEAN SEA AND TROPICAL N ATLC FROM 07N TO 22N
BETWEEN 55W AND 65W
530 AM EDT WED AUG 04 2010

.SYNOPSIS...A TROPICAL WAVE ALONG 71W WILL REACH ALONG 77W THU
AND ALONG 83W FRI...THEN MOVE THROUGH THE GULF OF HONDURAS FRI
NIGHT. THE REMNANT TROUGH OF TROPICAL STORM COLIN WILL MOVE NW
ACROSS WATERS NE OF THE LEEWARDS TODAY AND TONIGHT AND EXIT THE
NW PORTION OF THE AREA LATE THU.


SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
430 AM CDT WED AUG 04 2010

.SYNOPSIS...A RIDGE WILL EXTEND W ACROSS THE NORTHERN WATERS
THROUGH SUN WITH HIGH PRES OCCASIONALLY FORMING ALONG THE RIDGE
AXIS. A TROPICAL WAVE ENTERS THE FAR SE WATERS LATE THU AND
CONTINUES W ACROSS THE S CENTRAL WATERS FRI AND SAT...AND MOVES
THROUGH THE BAY OF CAMPECHE SUN.
..............................................


Folks along the northern gulf coast look to be protected...still...by high pressure...for awhile.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting StormW:


Stop making me puke!

;)
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Quoting reedzone:
After looking at the satellite images, there's no doubt in my mind that Colin has regained TS strength, great outflow, yet the NHC ignores it, well it has a yellow circle, but structure has improved along with convection. However, the TUTT is waiting..


NHC tends to be a LOT more conservative on a system that was already a system and has degenerated. If it wasn't already Colin, it would probably be a 50-60% right now. Probably not higher because of the TUTT ahead.
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2769. jeebsa
Good morning StormW and everyone.
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2768. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
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2767. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #4
TROPICAL STORM DOMENG
5:00 PM PhST August 4 2010
=============================================

"Domeng" has merged with the Low Pressure Area east of Batanes and intensified into a Tropical Storm.

At 4:00 PM PhST, Tropical Storm Domeng located at 20.0°N 126.6°E or 430 kms east of Basco, Batanes has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts up to 50 knots. The storm is reported as moving west at 9 knots.

Signal Warning #2
==================

Luzon Region
-----------
1.Cagayan
2.Babuyan Islands
3.Calayan Islands
4.Isabela
5.Batanes Group of Islands

Signal Warning #1
==================

Luzon Region
-----------
1.Nueva Ecija
2.Aurora
3.Quirino
4.Nueva Viscaya
5.Ifugao
6.Benguet
7.Mt. Province
8.Pangasinan
9.Kalinga
10.Abra
11.Apayao
12.La Union
13.Ilocos Provinces

Additional Information
========================
Residents living in low lying and mountainous areas under signal # 1 & 2 are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides.

Tropical Storm Domeng has enhanced the Southwest Monsoon that will generate moderate to rough seas as well as bring rains which may also trigger flashfloods and landslides in other areas of the country.

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin alert to be issued at 11 PM today.
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After looking at the satellite images, there's no doubt in my mind that Colin has regained TS strength, great outflow, yet the NHC ignores it, well it has a yellow circle, but structure has improved along with convection. However, the TUTT is waiting..
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2764. surfmom
Morning - curious to see how Colin faired through the night..... guess he's still here
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morning
very active central abd eastern atlantic this morning. few areas of disturbed weather to contend with
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2758. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
11:30 AM IST August 4 2010
=====================================

A Low Pressure Area lies over northwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining coastal Orissa

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2757. TxKeef
Is it just me, but on the wv loops it looks like colin's outflow seems to be squishing the ULL.
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I must be losing it, because i still see a circulation SW of the convection. Zoom in on those infrared and Rainbow Sat's guys.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/tatl/flash-ir4.html

The 200 mb streamlines (HDW-H check box) show an anticyclone over ex-Colin, that would be the source of upper divergence right now over Colin, right? I do agree with you, looks like its doomed to get sheared by this afternoon.


Well yeah that's part of what I was trying to explain...the divergence created by the winds on the SE side of the trough axis and the winds on the N side of the upper anticyclone is what is helping ex-Colin.
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makes me want to stay awake and watch the satellites all morning! It does seems like impeccable timing for the MLC to catch up to the LLC at DMAX. Window of opportunity is narrow.
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Quoting atmosweather:


DMAX is helping as well...but there is a good amount of diffluence aloft being provided right now...also, it hasn't reached the SW-erly shear axis and it has slowed its forward motion, which has allowed the mid level energy to catch up with the low level center. By this afternoon the upper environment will be hostile and whatever is left of the deep convection will be sheared well to the NE of the LLC.


http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/tatl/flash-ir4.html

The 200 mb streamlines (HDW-H check box) show an anticyclone over ex-Colin, that would be the source of upper divergence right now over Colin, right? I do agree with you, looks like its doomed to get sheared by this afternoon.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


You think that ex-Colin is already that close to the TUTT such that its already getting divergence from the TUTT's east side? I was thinking the convective blow up was either due to DMAX or by the inherent low-level convergence of the surface circulation. By the afternoon, it'll be under the east side of the TUTT.


DMAX is helping as well...but there is a good amount of diffluence aloft being provided right now...also, it hasn't reached the SW-erly shear axis and it has slowed its forward motion, which has allowed the mid level energy to catch up with the low level center. By this afternoon the upper environment will be hostile and whatever is left of the deep convection will be sheared well to the NE of the LLC.
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Quoting atmosweather:


The upper trough is too deep for a system as weak as this one to cause any significant movement...what will likely happen is that Colin will lose its energy again as it tracks underneath the TUTT and away from its upper divergence that is currently keeping convection over its LLC.


You think that ex-Colin is already that close to the TUTT such that its already getting divergence from the TUTT's east side? I was thinking the convective blow up was either due to DMAX or by the inherent low-level convergence of the surface circulation. By the afternoon, it'll be under the east side of the TUTT.
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2750. JLPR2
Well depending on how morning visible look Colin might be revived, its closing in on land, the Leeward Islands are right there in front of it.



Well goodnight everyone!
See you all tomorrow. :D
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Sigh... this is what happens when they think a system is dead and stop banging at it to move elsewhere, say 98L, and start banging away at it.

I'm not saying that's true, or even totally probable, but given all that's happened the last few years, you'd have a difficult time proving that it's wrong, either...
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Wow, just like when it looks like its down and out, Colin's remnant blows up a convective burst!

It has a narrow window of opportunity to regenerate this morning. By the afternoon and evening, it will begin to encounter southwesterly shear from the ULL to its NW. I can't tell at this time, but I think its a good chance that it will not survive shear from the ULL down the road.

Not sure how Colin will look when its at the Antilles. When its there, I will issue my next forecast on this system. My previous forecast seems accurate in terms of track (yay!), but was a bust with regards to intensity.
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Quoting alfabob:




The upper trough is too deep for a system as weak as this one to cause any significant movement...what will likely happen is that Colin will lose its energy again as it tracks underneath the TUTT and away from its upper divergence that is currently keeping convection over its LLC.
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2746. xcool


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2745. JLPR2
Quoting nwFLstormstalker:
Or, do i see the LLC at 15N 58.2W, exposed, SW of the convection??


AL, 04, 2010080406, , BEST, 0, 170N, 570W, 30, 1008, LO,
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2744. xcool
;
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Or, do i see the LLC at 15N 58.2W, exposed, SW of the convection??
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2742. JLPR2
Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Advanced Dvorak Technique

Tropical Depression, Former Colin
==========================================

2010AUG04 0615z

Final T no. 2.8
Pressure 1002 hPa
Estimated winds 41 knots

Final: 2.8
Adjusted: 2.9
Raw: 4.1



That is comical XD
Dvorak analysis has it at TS strength
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2741. xcool


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2740. xcool
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.1
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 04 AUG 2010 Time : 054500 UTC
Lat : 16:46:18 N Lon : 57:07:00 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
2.9 /1001.0mb/ 43.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
2.9 2.9 3.8

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +0.0mb

Center Temp : -66.7C Cloud Region Temp : -67.9C

Scene Type : UNIFORM CDO CLOUD REGION

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 0.7T/6hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

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2738. xcool
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MLC appears to be on the edge of the strong convection around what is apparently xcolin's LLC. It has caught up to the LLC and still has a strong spin. Lets see if it does anything once it slips all the way under that convection.
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2736. Niedjav
Advanced Dvorak Technique

Tropical Depression, Former Colin
==========================================

ok Colin is crazy


2010AUG04 0615z

Final T no. 2.8
Pressure 1002 hPa
Estimated winds 41 knots

Final: 2.8
Adjusted: 2.9
Raw: 4.1
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Quoting robj144:


This was before satellites, so that might have been a lot more storms that year.

food for thought

Link
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2734. xcool
Pressure 1002 hPa hmm
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2733. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Advanced Dvorak Technique

Tropical Depression, Former Colin
==========================================

2010AUG04 0615z

Final T no. 2.8
Pressure 1002 hPa
Estimated winds 41 knots

Final: 2.8
Adjusted: 2.9
Raw: 4.1

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2732. robj144
Quoting KoritheMan:


You want a slow season? Here's one for you:



This was before satellites, so that might have been a lot more storms that year.
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2731. xcool
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looks impressive!
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2729. xcool
if Colin development one time .i'm doom
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2728. Hhunter
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2727. JLPR2
Quoting alfabob:


I usually regret being correct about things.


Ah, well, it depends. XD
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2726. JLPR2
Quoting atmosweather:


It would be nice to have RECON in there tonight or visible imagery to see if we have a closed LLC...but it would be even nicer if ASCAT didn't CRASH EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!!!!!

Rant over. :)


yeah -.-
I agree 100% Ascat has the ability to miss the important areas 99% of the time. :(
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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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