Tropical Storm Richard slowly intensifying

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:31 PM GMT on October 21, 2010

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Tropical Storm Richard is here, the seventeenth named storm of this very busy 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Richard's formation puts 2010 in 6th place for the greatest number of named storms in the Atlantic since record keeping began in 1851. Only 2005 (28 named storms), 1933 (21 named storms), 1995 (19 named storms), 1887 (19 named storms), and 1969 (18 named storms) had more.

We won't have another hurricane hunter aircraft in Richard until 8pm tonight, so we will have to rely on satellite intensity estimates until then. The closest buoy to Richard is NOAA buoy 42057, which is on Richard's weak side about 100 miles from the heaviest thunderstorms. Winds at the buoy were just 18 mph, gusting to 22 mph, at 2:43pm EDT this afternoon. Recent satellite imagery shows that Richard is steadily organizing, with several curved spiral bands forming on the storm's south and east sides. The storm is bringing very heavy rain to Jamaica. Water vapor satellite loops show considerable dry air to the west and north of Richard, and the southwesterly upper-level winds over the storm are bringing some of this dry into the core of the storm, keeping all the heavy thunderstorm development confined to the east side of the center. The waters beneath Richard are very warm, 29°C, and Richard will begin taking advantage of these warm waters now that the shear is falling.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Richard.

Intensity forecast for Richard
The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear over the Western Caribbean will remain in the low range, 5 - 10 knots, through Monday morning. As the storm moves westwards on Friday, it will position itself beneath an upper-level high pressure system, which will aid the storm's upper-level outflow. With water temperatures a very warm 29°C and warm waters extending to great depth, Richard should be able to attain at least Category 1 hurricane strength by Saturday. NHC is currently giving Richard a 11% chance of becoming a major Category 3+ hurricane. I believe the odds are higher, near 30%. The main inhibiting factor for intensification will be interaction with the north coast of Honduras, and the possibility of the dry air to the west of Richard getting wrapped into the core of the storm while it is trying to organize. A band of very strong upper-level winds associated with the jet stream will be over the Gulf of Mexico early next week, so it is likely that if Richard crosses into the Gulf of Mexico, the storm will steadily weaken.

Track forecast for Richard
The latest set of 8am EDT (12Z) model runs are similar to the previous set of runs, and don't help illuminate what the long-range fate of Richard might be. Steering currents are weak in the Western Caribbean, and will remain weak through Friday morning, resulting in a slow, erratic movement for Richard. Most of the models favor a southerly, then southwesterly path at 5mph or less over the next two days. This may bring the center of Richard very close to or over the northern coast of Honduras on Saturday or Sunday, as predicted by the GFS, UKMET, and NOGAPS models. These models then show Richard dissipating over Central America. A much different solution is offered by the ECMWF, HWRF and GFDL models, which foresee less of a southerly motion for Richard over the next two days, resulting in the storm missing the north coast of Honduras by one hundred miles or more. These models take Richard to the northwest across the tip of the Yucatan (GFDL and ECMWF models) or western tip of Cuba (HWRF model) on Sunday or Monday. The HWRF and GFDL models predict Richard will be a threat to the west coast of Florida on Tuesday. NHC takes the reasonable approach of predicting a path somewhere between these two extremes, with Richard crossing the Yucatan between Cozumel and the Belize/Mexico border. Residents of northern Honduras should anticipate the possibility that Richard will pass very close or strike Honduras on Saturday or Sunday. Very heavy rains of 4 - 8 inches are possible over the the weekend in coastal Honduras beginning Friday night or Saturday morning. The 11am EDT NHC wind probability forecast is giving the highest odds for tropical storm-force winds at Guanaja in Honduras, at 46%. Cozumel, Mexico is given a 42% chance, Key West a 6% chance, and Ft. Myers a 3% chance.

Invest 90L
A tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa yesterday (Invest 90L) has a modest amount of spin and some growing thunderstorm activity. Wind shear is a moderate 5 - 15 knots, and the waters are still warm enough to support tropical storm formation. NHC is giving the system a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday. By Sunday, 90L will encounter high wind shear of 20 - 40 knots, discouraging further development. This system is not a threat to cross the Atlantic and affect the Lesser Antilles or North America.

Typhoon Megi takes aim at China
Typhoon Megi continues it slow march towards China at 5 mph, and is expected to make landfall Saturday morning on the Chinese coast opposite from Taiwan. Megi has maintained strength as a Category 3 typhoon with 115 mph winds today, despite rising wind shear (now a moderate 10 - 20 knots) and cooling sea surface temperatures. Megi is moving slow enough and is large and powerful enough that it is probably upwelling cold water from the depths to the surface faster than it can move away, and these upwelling cool waters are keeping Megi from being a stronger storm. Wind shear will increase dramatically to 20 - 40 knots on Friday as the typhoon makes its final approach to the coast of China, and this shear should be high enough to reduce Megi to Category 1 status before landfall. Megi will still be a very large and powerful storm capable of causing considerable wind and storm surge damage even at Category 1 strength. However, heavy rain will likely be the storm's main threat, since it is moving slowly and is a huge storm. I expect Megi will be a billion-dollar disaster for China, mostly due to flooding from heavy rains. The outer rain bands of Megi are already affecting the coast of China near Taiwan, as seen on China's radar composite, as well as Taiwan radar.

The clean-up continues in the Philippines from Megi, which hit northern Luzon island on Monday morning at 3:30 UTC as a Category 5 super typhoon with sustained winds of 165 mph and a central pressure of 914 mb. Severe damage was done to Isabela Province in northern Luzon, and 19 deaths are being blamed on the storm. Considering most major typhoon that have hit the Philippine in recent year have killed hundreds and sometimes thousands of people, the low death toll from Megi is a testament to the excellent efforts by officials in the Philippines to get people out of harm's way in advance of the storm.


Figure 2. Rainfall rate for Megi as observed by the TRMM polar orbiting satellite at 10:01am EDT October 21, 2010. Heavy rains in excess of 0.8" per hour (yellow colors) were present in Megi's eyewall and spiral bands. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Next update
I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

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may be Richard will this poof out like he is doing now
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514. IKE
18Z GFDL on Richard...

18Z HWRF on Richard...
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Interesting

30mph winds and a 1007mb pressure.

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well it can't be robert the 18Z surface map shows the high ridge dieing

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/tafb_latest/WATL_latest.gif
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I bet that is nothing more than one of the vorticies present in Richard

the actual center has a lower pressure
Looking at satellite imagery, the wind shift revealed by Recon is pretty convincing. Plot where the wind shift occurred and look on shortwave. I would put the circulation right about where the wind shift occurred.

The pressure had me confused though. The lowest pressure occurred way to the northwest of the wind shift, and the pressure of where the wind shift occurred, I don't find believable. Recon's got me scratching my head.

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21/2345 UTC 16.0N 80.4W T1.5/2.0 RICHARD -- Atlantic
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Quoting robert88:
Models are sniffing out a stronger ridge. Still way too early if that pans out.


Or sniffing out a weaker Richard.

I was going too but, decided to remain tactful, lol.
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9695
If I remember right they had the surface winds on a vortex message with Otto read 35.6mph and that was when he was a 60mph TS

one vortex message can easily have the wrong surface wind data
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:




Interesting... they put up a graphic at 744pm without the circle... then took it down. little model support but this low didn't get the memo
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Quoting stormpetrol:

Pure BS and you know it!!


Here come the RIP people

never fails on here, its why the blog is such a joke sometimes.

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Quoting IKE:
Recon link is working now....Link


Thank You..
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500. IKE
Quoting stormpetrol:

Pure BS and you know it!!


Really? That's a vortex from recon!
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495. nrtiwlnvragn

Yeah, that's the location that they put on the vortex message.

I'm pretty confused right now.
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Quoting IKE:
Maximum Surface Winds Were Estimated At: 26 Knots (29.9 MPH)

Minimum Pressure: extrap 1007 Millibars (29.735 Inches).....

Tropical depression Richard?

Pure BS and you know it!!
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
461. Hurricanes101

OBS 23, where they wind shift was detected.

000
URNT15 KNHC 212330
AF301 0419A RICHARD HDOB 23 20101021
232030 1613N 08042W 9623 00431 0107 +245 +194 035011 012 010 005 03
232100 1612N 08040W 9629 00429 0110 +237 +196 055011 012 016 004 03
232130 1611N 08038W 9624 00433 0110 +231 +222 065010 011 012 003 03
232200 1609N 08037W 9622 00435 0111 +228 //// 055011 011 011 005 01
232230 1608N 08036W 9624 00434 0111 +232 +232 045011 012 010 005 00
232300 1606N 08034W 9622 00435 0110 +233 //// 036011 012 014 005 01
232330 1605N 08033W 9624 00431 0107 +236 //// 040010 011 013 005 01
232400 1604N 08032W 9623 00431 0107 +241 +235 025006 007 012 005 03
232430 1603N 08030W 9624 00434 0109 +236 //// 060003 005 017 003 05
232500 1601N 08028W 9623 00434 0109 +237 //// 051003 004 013 004 05
232530 1600N 08027W 9625 00433 0110 +241 +237 172002 005 008 005 03
232600 1559N 08025W 9623 00436 0113 +240 +237 215012 017 012 005 03
232630 1557N 08024W 9623 00442 0118 +236 //// 218021 023 026 005 05
232700 1556N 08022W 9623 00445 0121 +236 //// 219022 023 024 005 05
232730 1555N 08021W 9628 00442 0122 +242 +224 218021 022 023 005 03
232800 1553N 08020W 9624 00448 0127 +237 +231 199020 021 024 003 00
232830 1552N 08018W 9622 00452 0130 +237 +232 194020 021 022 005 03
232900 1551N 08017W 9626 00452 0133 +237 +231 194019 020 025 004 03
232930 1549N 08016W 9621 00463 0139 +236 +234 188020 022 024 004 03
233000 1548N 08014W 9626 00459 0142 +235 +233 190020 021 025 004 00
$$
;




I bet that is nothing more than one of the vorticies present in Richard

the actual center has a lower pressure
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496. IKE
Recon link is working now....Link
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461. Hurricanes101

OBS 23, where the wind shift was detected.

000
URNT15 KNHC 212330
AF301 0419A RICHARD HDOB 23 20101021
232030 1613N 08042W 9623 00431 0107 245 194 035011 012 010 005 03
232100 1612N 08040W 9629 00429 0110 237 196 055011 012 016 004 03
232130 1611N 08038W 9624 00433 0110 231 222 065010 011 012 003 03
232200 1609N 08037W 9622 00435 0111 228 //// 055011 011 011 005 01
232230 1608N 08036W 9624 00434 0111 232 232 045011 012 010 005 00
232300 1606N 08034W 9622 00435 0110 233 //// 036011 012 014 005 01
232330 1605N 08033W 9624 00431 0107 236 //// 040010 011 013 005 01
232400 1604N 08032W 9623 00431 0107 241 235 025006 007 012 005 03
232430 1603N 08030W 9624 00434 0109 236 //// 060003 005 017 003 05
232500 1601N 08028W 9623 00434 0109 237 //// 051003 004 013 004 05
232530 1600N 08027W 9625 00433 0110 241 237 172002 005 008 005 03
232600 1559N 08025W 9623 00436 0113 240 237 215012 017 012 005 03
232630 1557N 08024W 9623 00442 0118 236 //// 218021 023 026 005 05
232700 1556N 08022W 9623 00445 0121 236 //// 219022 023 024 005 05
232730 1555N 08021W 9628 00442 0122 242 224 218021 022 023 005 03
232800 1553N 08020W 9624 00448 0127 237 231 199020 021 024 003 00
232830 1552N 08018W 9622 00452 0130 237 232 194020 021 022 005 03
232900 1551N 08017W 9626 00452 0133 237 231 194019 020 025 004 03
232930 1549N 08016W 9621 00463 0139 236 234 188020 022 024 004 03
233000 1548N 08014W 9626 00459 0142 235 233 190020 021 025 004 00
$$
;


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493. IKE
Maximum Surface Winds Were Estimated At: 26 Knots (29.9 MPH)

Minimum Pressure: extrap 1007 Millibars (29.735 Inches).....

Tropical depression Richard?
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If richard stays in the Caribbean longer than expected, what will be the outcome of the track to florida,if and only it reaches the Yucatan peninsula? will the models show more south than north?
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Quoting lightningbolt73:
Richard kind of reminds me of mitch in 1998, although mitch was a lot stronger! I remember Mitch hit Central America degenerated into a remnant low, became a tropical storm and hit Southwest Florida!


mitch killed 8000 people in honduras...not exactly a non event
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Models are sniffing out a stronger ridge. Still way too early if that pans out.
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489. Skyepony (Mod)
Storm RICHARD: Observed by AF #301
Storm #19 In Atlantic Ocean
Total Flights For Storm #19: 04
Date/Time of Recon Report: October 21, 2010 23:25:30 Zulu
Position Of The Center: 16 ° 00 ' N 080 ° 27 ' W (16.00° N 80.45° W )
Minimum Height Measured At Standard Level Of Millibars: Meters (Normal: Meters)
Maximum Surface Winds Were Estimated At: 26 Knots (29.9 MPH)
Estimated Surface Winds Were Measured At: 102 Nautical Miles (117.3 miles) From Center At Bearing 315°
Maximum Flight Level Winds Near Center Were 22 Knots (25.3 MPH) From 063°
Maximum Flight Level Winds Were Measured 84 Nautical Miles (96.6 Miles) From Center At Bearing 314°
Minimum Pressure: extrap 1007 Millibars (29.735 Inches)
Maxium Flight Level Temperature / Pressure Altitude Outside The Eye: 23°C (73.4°F) / 429 Meters
Maximum Flight Level Temperature / Pressure Altitude Inside The Eye: 24°C (75.2°F) / 431 Meters
Dewpoint Temperature / Sea Surface Temperature Inside The Eye: 24 °C (75.2°F) / NA°C (NA°F)
Eye Wall Was Characterized As Being: NA
Eye Form Was Characterized As Being: NA
Center Fix Established Using: Penetration Wind Pressure
Center Fix Established At Level(s): 1500 Feet
Navigational Accuracy Measured At: 0.03 Nautical Miles
Meteorological Accuracy Measured At: 1 Nautical Miles

Other Information:
1: Maximum OUTBOUND AND Maximum Flight Level Winds Were 29 KT SE Quadrant at 23:36:10Z
2: SLP EXTRAP FROM BELOW 1500 FT
3: Maximum Flight Level Temp 25 C 311 / 18 NM FROM Flight Level CNTR
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Really? Look at the TVCN.

12z


18z


Honestly, I don't know why we even follow the 18z models. Follow only the 00z and 12z models. The 06z models and the 18z models are always normally off.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
If Richard stays on track he will run into Honduras, but I doubt this very much.
Richard kind of reminds me of mitch in 1998, although mitch was a lot stronger! I remember Mitch hit Central America degenerated into a remnant low, became a tropical storm and hit Southwest Florida!
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I say TS richard may try to relocate or shift its COC to 16.7N 79.9W just my thoughts
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485. IKE
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I dont see anyone rejoicing.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The '03' signifies that the SFMR wind data is contaminated. It would have to read '01' or '21' (not sure) for the pressure data to be contaminated.

The pressure readings currently being found by Recon are perfectly reliable.


ok cool, was not sure where Orca was getting 1011 from
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
wait wait wait, so the tracks spent 24 hours shifting north and east; and the ones who bought them and said Florida could be impacted were crazy

and yet now we are supposed to rejoice because one model run set shifted south?

Take all of the models with a grain of salt no matter which way they shift


you said it
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
wait wait wait, so the tracks spent 24 hours shifting north and east; and the ones who bought them and said Florida could be impacted were crazy

and yet now we are supposed to rejoice because one model run set shifted south?

Take all of the models with a grain of salt no matter which way they shift



UAD Flights are taking of tomorrow, can't wait for that.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Lowest pressure found by Recon is 1005.6mb (refer to post #412). The circulation is rather broad and not too well-defined.


true but there is no way the pressure is at 1011mb like Orca claims it is
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
Yea there is a lot of contaminated data, but I find it impossible that the lowest pressure of Richard is 1011mb, nothing on satellite suggests that it has weakened that quickly
The '03' signifies that the SFMR wind data is contaminated. It would have to read '01' or '21' (not sure) for the pressure data to be contaminated.

The pressure readings currently being found by Recon are perfectly reliable.
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wait wait wait, so the tracks spent 24 hours shifting north and east; and the ones who bought them and said Florida could be impacted were crazy

and yet now we are supposed to rejoice because one model run set shifted south?

Take all of the models with a grain of salt no matter which way they shift
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000
URNT15 KNHC 212350
AF301 0419A RICHARD HDOB 25 20101021
234030 1522N 07948W 9627 00385 0060 +234 +224 181027 028 031 003 03
234100 1521N 07947W 9630 00385 0061 +233 +223 180027 028 028 004 03
234130 1520N 07946W 9628 00388 0063 +232 +226 179026 028 030 004 03
234200 1519N 07944W 9628 00387 0063 +233 +223 178026 027 028 004 03
234230 1517N 07943W 9630 00387 0064 +231 +227 178026 027 027 005 03
234300 1516N 07942W 9630 00388 0064 +231 +229 179025 025 029 003 03
234330 1515N 07940W 9630 00389 0065 +233 +225 178026 028 027 005 03
234400 1514N 07939W 9627 00391 0066 +234 +225 178026 026 026 005 03
234430 1512N 07938W 9627 00392 0068 +234 +223 179026 027 028 004 03
234500 1511N 07936W 9628 00393 0068 +234 +223 178026 027 027 004 03
234530 1510N 07935W 9630 00390 0068 +235 +222 177026 027 028 004 03
234600 1508N 07934W 9630 00392 0069 +234 +223 179025 026 027 005 03
234630 1507N 07932W 9630 00390 0068 +235 +221 178026 027 026 005 03
234700 1506N 07931W 9628 00394 0069 +235 +220 179027 027 028 004 03
234730 1505N 07930W 9629 00393 0070 +236 +215 178027 027 026 004 03
234800 1503N 07929W 9629 00396 0071 +236 +217 179025 026 027 004 03
234830 1502N 07927W 9629 00394 0072 +236 +221 179025 026 027 003 03
234900 1501N 07926W 9629 00396 0073 +235 +224 182024 025 027 005 03
234930 1500N 07925W 9631 00396 0074 +235 +222 180024 025 025 005 03
235000 1458N 07923W 9629 00398 0074 +235 +225 184024 024 024 004 00
$$
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Lowest pressure found by Recon is 1005.6mb (refer to post #412). The circulation is rather broad and not too well-defined.
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Quoting TOMSEFLA:
18z runs for hmrf gfdl post if you have seen them


18Z HWRF
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Quoting IKE:


Yes. Can't get to it.


Figures.

That's the good lord telling me to go cook the daym burgers already :-)
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Yea there is a lot of contaminated data, but I find it impossible that the lowest pressure of Richard is 1011mb, nothing on satellite suggests that it has weakened that quickly
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Really? Look at the TVCN.

12z


18z


even more better news for Florida
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18Z HWRF shifted more W into the Yucatan.

""
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468. IKE
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Anyone else having issues with the Tropical Atlantic Recon site?


Yes. Can't get to it.
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Quoting Orcasystems:




This is where I lost data feed. Did you also loose feed from the recon data Orca?
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Quoting Marziedotz:
Does anyone wish to comment on storm possibilities re the West coast FL area?


Levi's blog should give you a very good look at what's going on.

Doziedotz without the lambs. :)
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Quoting weatherlover94:


looks about the same to me


Really? Look at the TVCN.

12z


18z
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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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