Another amazingly snowy winter for the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:18 PM GMT on February 11, 2011

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As northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas dig out from the two feet of snow dumped this winter's latest epic snowstorm, it's time to summarize how remarkable the snows of the past two winters have been. So far this winter, the Northeast U.S. has seen three Category 3 (major) or higher snow storms on the Northeast Snowfall Impact (NESIS) scale. This scale, which rates Northeast snowstorms by the area affected by the snowstorm, the amount of snow, and the number of people living in the path of the storm, runs from Category 1 (Notable) to Category 5 (Crippling.) This puts the winter of 2010 - 2011 in a tie for first place with the winters of 2009 - 2010 and 1960 - 1961 for most major Northeast snowstorms. All three of these winters had an extreme configuration of surface pressures over the Arctic and North Atlantic referred to as a negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO). In this situation, the band of winds that circles the North Pole weakens, allowing cold air to spill southwards into the mid-latitudes.

In the past twelve months, we've had six major Category 3 or stronger storms on the NESIS scale, by far the most major snowstorms in a 12-month period in the historical record. Going back to 1956, only one 12-month period had as many as four major snowstorms--during 1960 - 1961. New York City has seen three of its top-ten snowstorms and the two snowiest months in its 142-year history during the past 12 months--February 2010 (36.9") and January 2011 (36.0"). Philadelphia has seen four of its top-ten snowstorm in history the past two winters. The Midwest has not been left out of the action this year, either--the Groundhog's Day blizzard nailed Chicago with its 3rd biggest snowstorm on record. According to the National Climatic Data Center, December 2010 saw the 7th greatest U.S. snow extent for the month in the 45-year record, and January 2011 the 5th most. December 2009 had the greatest snow extent for the month in the 45-year record, January 2010 the 6th most, and February 2010 the 3rd most. Clearly, the snows of the past two winters in the U.S. have been truly extraordinary.


Figure 1. The six major Category 3 Northeast snowstorms of the past twelve months. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

A cold January in the U.S.
January 2011 was the coldest January in the contiguous U.S. since 1994, according to the National Climatic Data Center, and ranked as the 37th coldest January in the 117-year record. Despite the heavy snows in the Northeast U.S., January was the 9th driest January since 1895. This was largely due to the fact that the Desert Southwest was very dry, with New Mexico recording its driest January, and Arizona and Nevada their second driest.

A cold and record snowy winter (yet again!) in the U.S. does not prove or disprove the existence of climate change or global warming, as we must instead focus on global temperatures averaged over decades. Globally, January 2011 was the 11th warmest since 1880, but tied for the second coolest January of the past decade, according to NASA. NOAA has not yet released their stats for January. The cool-down in global temperatures since November 2010, which was the warmest November in the historical record, is largely due to the temporary cooling effect of the strong La Niña event occurring in the Eastern Pacific. This event has cooled a large portion of the surface waters in the Pacific, leading to a cooler global temperature.

Some posts of interest I've done on snow and climate change over the past year:

Hot Arctic-Cold Continents Pattern is back (December 2010)
The future of intense winter storms (March 2010)
Heavy snowfall in a warming world (February 2010)

Have a great weekend, everyone, and enjoy the coming warm-up, those of you in the eastern 2/3 of the country!

Jeff Masters

Snow and icicle sun (emilinetdd)
Snow and icicle sun
Cardinal City (dypepper)
Another exciting day for me, shooting the Cardinals in the Snow!
Cardinal City

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1050. Patrap
US Cuban Hurricane Conference

Vacuum not included
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130846
Quoting BahaHurican:
BTW, Orca, an ad hominem attack doesn't have to be FALSE; in fact, they work best if they're true, and negative. What makes them ad hominem is they focus the argument on the character of the debater rather than the content of his argument.

Both Levi and Michael have worthwhile contributions to make to this blog, and IMO ad hominem attacks from either of them lowers the tone of the debate here.



I actually don't disagree with any of them.. granted I am very tired of seeing the same old argument. The only reason I stepped in was in defence of Levi.

This is a Tropical weather site.. Levi is a major asset to that part of the discussion, he is also young and may say something to the old dinosaurs that could get him banned... or worse, disillusioned with the Blog.

The other parties involved very seldom contribute to the tropical weather side... unless they can find a way to spin GW into it.

You will notice I could care less when they go at each other.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
1047. Grothar
Quoting Patrap:
Ping Pong does come to mind.

Pu-kup,,puh-kup..

Bounce,bounce,bounce..


.
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1046. Grothar


Link below:

Link
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1044. Patrap
Ping Pong does come to mind.

Pu-kup,,puh-kup..

Bounce,bounce,bounce..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130846
1043. Grothar
Quoting Patrap:
When in reality its,


Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog




One cannot tell whose blog it is any more. There are so many who have left or very rarely post here anymore. It has been taken over by blog-hogs. I don't even believe that there is much passion on either side of the debate. My opinion is that certain bloggers just want to show how smart they are and win an argument. It is really getting disgusting on both sides. Youth, is not now, or has ever been, an excuse for rudeness. However, they are not the only ones who share blame. What impresses me the most is not what some of these bloggers "know", but what they do not know. If they have to resort to bickering and name-calling, let them do it in private and not subject the rest of us to it.
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1042. Patrap
That's a good point skyepony,,they dont usually advertise in the open about the NV waste fuel storage facility.


Bad for Tourism I bet.

Fusion is interesting fer sure.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130846
1041. Skyepony (Mod)
Fusion is forging forward, a little east of CA..

(I think this was in Jan).. At the ignition facility, the National Ignition Campaign successfully conducted the first integrated fusion ignition experiment. It is considered a milestone event in the scientific pursuit of attaining sustained, man-made nuclear fusion. Achieving the objectives of this experiment were essential for moving toward the ultimate goal of producing more energy from the device than it consumes, while achieving a sustained fusion reaction, according to the report.

Budget isn't to shabby..

LLNL is Livermore’s largest employer by far. Its $1.57 billion budget supported the work of more than 6,500 scientists, engineers and other personnel in the 2010 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

Somewhat unrelated ran across this.. Never realized the amount of nuclear waste being stashed in NV.
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1040. Patrap
When in reality its,


Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130846
1038. Patrap
Yesterday's..."comment of the Day",,brought to you by Oreck Vacuum Systems.


612. Orcasystems 12:09 PM CST on February 12, 2011

Quoting Neapolitan:

Completely--and provably--untrue. I realize such nonsense is the coin of the realm over on WUWT, but it won't fly here; this is a science site.



Quoting Orcasystems:


"THIS", is a Tropical Weather Blog... not a science site.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130846
1037. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130846
Hmmmm.... amazing to see Bingiza hasn't made landfall as yet....

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1035. IKE

Quoting BahaHurican:
1024. IKE...

Wow, the voice of reason!!!!

Howareya this fine and chilly a.m.? I'm still waiting for the sun to come out.... lol
I'm doing fine.
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1024. IKE...

Wow, the voice of reason!!!!

Howareya this fine and chilly a.m.? I'm still waiting for the sun to come out.... lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BTW, Orca, an ad hominem attack doesn't have to be FALSE; in fact, they work best if they're true, and negative. What makes them ad hominem is they focus the argument on the character of the debater rather than the content of his argument.

Both Levi and Michael have worthwhile contributions to make to this blog, and IMO ad hominem attacks from either of them lowers the tone of the debate here.

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Bingiza is less organized than it was last night..

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Quoting washingtonian115:
June or May even can't come soon enough for some folks...
Soooooooo right you are.... I'll be happy for April....

For ppl talking about STL, I'm finding he's doing pretty well on the personal attacks bit. I think I'd rather Orca call him early on ad hominem stuff, which lowers the tone of the blog anyway, than STL getting banned again. OTOH, Levi's comment was like a wife bringing up the last time a husband cheated when they are having an argument about why she is spending too much money.....

And I quote, "Can't we all just get along?" "Can't we stick to the data and relevant conclusions?"
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Quoting MichaelSTL:


Um, right
....
Sounds like you have been listening to the wrong people, you know, like Bastardi, Spencer and Watts.
Actually, no... I've basically tuned out just about everybody here and elsewhere still having this debate.

I guess I wasn't clear enough. IMO it's IRRELEVANT whether the GW is AGW or not; instead of arguing about whose source and proxies are "right" we need to be thinking about solutions that mean humanity stand a chance of weathering the changes rather than rushing headlong into a massive near-extinction scenario.....

One thing I need 2 remind the AGW supporters on here of: not everybody is your enemy....
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1028. Dakster
Good morning from nippy South Florida... Finally, a cloud free day though... After a few days in a row of grey skies lead to paranoia around here.
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Morning all.

It's cool, overcast and windy here this morning... just the right weather for a cup of hot coffee, some fluffy pancakes and a good book....

Think I'll get right on that... soon as I've looked @ the latest on Bingiza...

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now as the space shuttle is shortly going to be retired was this endevour worth our money and the people who died trying to get it up and back here.? i think it was worth it but it should of been retired 10yrs ago. the economy would of allowed a replacement.
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1024. IKE
Reading some previous posts.... there are some on here that have too
much time on their hands. Arguing about the same things over and over
again.

I was thinking the other day, in all my years of dealing with the public
in my job I've never had one person that said anything about GW.
 
I believe it exists but sitting in front of a computer arguing about it...over and over?

It is important, but there are more pressing things to worry about in
this country...Social Security going
bankrupt....unemployment....Medicare going bankrupt....the national
debt, etc....

Fortunately I have a life away from this computer. As boring as it may be, it beats spending countless hours on here arguing about the same things.
................................................. ..................................................

Quoting Ylee:
If we put ALL of our resources into developing sustainable nuclear fusion, we could have a virtually unlimited source of power worldwide, for the ages.
Would you be in favor of a 20 percent GDP investment worldwide over a period of several decades? I would. The payoff would be HUGE . No oil, no coal, no windfarms cluttering up the landscape and killing birds, no hydroelectric dams ruining spawning grounds, no biofuels running up the price of food, ect.

Don't worry about it. Multinational corporations, power-hungry polititians left and right worldwide, and an apathetic and ignorant public will keep fusion in boring physics lectures. It will take an environmental, economic, and political catastrophe of worldwide scale to wake us up, if by then it is not too late.

Sunday morning preaching's over. Ya'll have a good day.
Your meaning may be good, but it ain't happening.
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Quoting Ylee:
If we put ALL of our resources into developing sustainable nuclear fusion, we could have a virtually unlimited source of power worldwide, for the ages.
Would you be in favor of a 20 percent GDP investment worldwide over a period of several decades? I would. The payoff would be HUGE . No oil, no coal, no windfarms cluttering up the landscape and killing birds, no hydroelectric dams ruining spawning grounds, no biofuels running up the price of food, ect.

Don't worry about it. Multinational corporations, power-hungry polititians left and right worldwide, and an apathetic and ignorant public will keep fusion in boring physics lectures. It will take an environmental, economic, and political catastrophe of worldwide scale to wake us up, if by then it is not too late.

Sunday morning preaching's over. Ya'll have a good day.

That environmental catastrophe is currently in the making--and when it comes into full fruition, the economic and political catastrophes will naturally follow. Sustainable fusion energy would be most excellent, and would go a long way toward ending many of our current problems. But as you alluded to, there are too many corporations invested heavily in the fossil fuel status quo--and too many politicians in the pockets of those corporations--for this to happen anytime soon. The sad fact is, too many people lack vision; they're only interested in getting ahead now, and their profit-only blinders don't let them see the long-term consequences of their actions. It's not so much that they don't care for the planet they'll leave for their kids and their grandkids' kids--it's that they simply aren't willing or able to envision that world.

In the meantime, they spin and lie and deceive and obfuscate, and the more gullible members of society readily swallow whatever anti-science garbage they produce. Scientists are saying the planet is warming? Why, then, convince people those hard-working, dedicated, and professional people are part of a vast socialist conspiracy! The EPA wants to--rightly--address CO2 as a pollutant? Then buy politicians who will defund that agency! There are laws in place to protect the environment? Then overturn those laws, or de-fang them!

We are in deep trouble. We as a nation, and we as the human inhabitants of the only planet we have at the moment. The science that has brought us all the technological advances we now enjoy, and that has allowed us to begin to understand the universe and our place in it, is now under a sustained and well-funded attack by those greedy and myopic types who place profit and politics over people, profit and politics over patriotism, profit and politics over posterity.

It's all very sad. Really. Very, very sad...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14071
1022. Ylee
If we put ALL of our resources into developing sustainable nuclear fusion, we could have a virtually unlimited source of power worldwide, for the ages.
Would you be in favor of a 20 percent GDP investment worldwide over a period of several decades? I would. The payoff would be HUGE . No oil, no coal, no windfarms cluttering up the landscape and killing birds, no hydroelectric dams ruining spawning grounds, no biofuels running up the price of food, ect.

Don't worry about it. Multinational corporations, power-hungry polititians left and right worldwide, and an apathetic and ignorant public will keep fusion in boring physics lectures. It will take an environmental, economic, and political catastrophe of worldwide scale to wake us up, if by then it is not too late.

Sunday morning preaching's over. Ya'll have a good day.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1021. Xandra
Quoting TomTaylor:

To be honest with you, yes. I am not here just to show them what's wrong. I am also trying to show them what's right. You can't gain the trust out of someone, or expect them to listen to you if you are just going to be flat out mean to them all the time.

Now people like Haloreachfan and RecordSeason are too settled in their ways and too stubborn to ever see daylight, in my opinion. However there are a few people on the agw side who aren't stubborn blind and ignorant. Not everyone is a Haloreachfan. And those are the people I am trying to shed light on, and get them to realize.

I'm not betraying you Florida, and I'm not leaving your "side" I just have a different, and hopefully more progressive, approach than you

It doesn't matter if you are using a different and more progressive method. The anti-scientific-zealots are not interested in science!
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Quoting JFLORIDA:
What?? You cant give me ONE instance.

So you made that up to make the deniers "feel better." Or it happened somewhere else and you are bringing it up here to make them feel better?

Ridiculous. Thats politics. Not scientific argument.

To be honest with you, yes. I am not here just to show them what's wrong. I am also trying to show them what's right. You can't gain the trust out of someone, or expect them to listen to you if you are just going to be flat out mean to them all the time.

Now people like Haloreachfan and RecordSeason are too settled in their ways and too stubborn to ever see daylight, in my opinion. However there are a few people on the agw side who aren't stubborn blind and ignorant. Not everyone is a Haloreachfan. And those are the people I am trying to shed light on, and get them to realize.

I'm not betraying you Florida, and I'm not leaving your "side" I just have a different, and hopefully more progressive, approach than you
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Quoting JFLORIDA:
coming from the AGW time the majority of the time, but I see it on the pro gw side too

Can I see one - tonight we hard paleoclimate was not a a science and direct measurement is the only legitimate source of data.

Florida if you want to get anywhere in an argument you can't be so one sided, simple fact man.

Quoting Orcasystems:


I'm actually in the middle... its happening... BUT, I don't think we have any where near the influence that some of the zealots think we do.

It sort of reminds you of Christopher Columbus... everyone demanded the world was flat... and you either believed.. or were outcast.. ridiculed.. or even jailed.

The Zealots use the same theory.. they HAVE to be right... the rest of us are just sheep and we MUST follow them, if not.. then CAR (Criticize, Attack, Ridicule) is the response.

I follow these things:

a, we know CO2 absorbs outgoing infrared radiation, and we know the greater concentration, the greater the absorption of radiation. Humans are adding to the CO2 levels, so we know humans are adding to the temperature of the planet.

b, all our data indicates we are warming.

c, fossil fuels will run out, so we will need to switch eventually. the sooner we do it, the better off we are, waiting till the last minute is never a good idea.

Based off these points, and only these points, I argue with others on the blog. I only argue these points, because these points are not disputable. I don't try to argue how much of an affect we have, or what our future will be. I only argue against those who claim we have no impact, or those who claim our future will not be bad, because honestly, I have NO IDEA how much of an affect we have, or what our future will be
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Anyway.. I am off for the night... play nice...
And try and leave the young smarter ones alone.. I don't like them to get banned trying to argue with the older ummmm gentlemen.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting Jedkins01:


I'm glad to see you realize the incredible value of moderation. If more humans moderated it would fix a lot of issues in the world.

I guess you Canadians ain't so bad :)


We are fairly moderate and logical people.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting Orcasystems:


I'm actually in the middle... its happening... BUT, I don't think we have any where near the influence that some of the zealots think we do.

It sort of reminds you of Christopher Columbus... everyone demanded the world was flat... and you either believed.. or were outcast.. ridiculed.. or even jailed.

The Zealots use the same theory.. they HAVE to be right... the rest of us are just sheep and we MUST follow them, if not.. then CAR (Criticize, Attack, Ridicule) is the response.


I'm glad to see you realize the incredible value of moderation. If more humans moderated it would fix a lot of issues in the world.

I guess you Canadians ain't so bad :)
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Quoting TomTaylor:
What questions did you have?


And EnergyMoron, that translation didn't really work out


my questions? lol I'm not even going to get into the details, the comment speaks for itself...
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Quoting TomTaylor:

Oh nice, too bad we can't get dr masters to stop talking about global warming, then we could just end it on this blog for good.

As much as I may argue Global Warming on here, I don't like it. I only do it because of some of the claims people make are just so ridiculous, coming from the AGW time the majority of the time, but I see it on the pro gw side too


I'm actually in the middle... its happening... BUT, I don't think we have any where near the influence that some of the zealots think we do.

It sort of reminds you of Christopher Columbus... everyone demanded the world was flat... and you either believed.. or were outcast.. ridiculed.. or even jailed.

The Zealots use the same theory.. they HAVE to be right... the rest of us are just sheep and we MUST follow them, if not.. then CAR (Criticize, Attack, Ridicule) is the response.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting JFLORIDA:
1000 Too many myspace friends and not enough thought or reason.

To be Smart at least you need to discus things you are knowledgeable in. Not consistently wrong in or are trying to constantly subvert.





being a lemming of the mother earth movement doesn't qualify as thought and reason :)
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Quoting Orcasystems:


There is no reason for you to miss his information.. he can be found in this Blog:

Something New in the Past Decade? Organizing U.S. Climate Modeling (1)

Its an actual a "featured" Global Warming Blog...

Its a very good place for all of the Global Warming discussions to be.

Oh nice, too bad we can't get dr masters to stop talking about global warming, then we could just end it on this blog for good.

As much as I may argue Global Warming on here, I don't like it. I only do it because of some of the claims people make are just so ridiculous, coming from the AGW time the majority of the time, but I see it on the pro gw side too
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Quoting TomTaylor:

Despite the "attacks" which I've heard some people say you make, Michael, you honestly provide some of the best thought out, well written, easy to understand posts. And you always have evidence, or facts, or some graph or chart to back up what you present.

So if you truly are leaving, then I am sorry to hear that. But I really can't blame you, a lot of the people on this blog are in denial, and choose not to listen to what the other side is presenting them.



There is no reason for you to miss his information.. he can be found in this Blog:

Something New in the Past Decade? Organizing U.S. Climate Modeling (1)

Its an actual "featured" Global Warming Blog...

Its a very good place for all of the Global Warming discussions to be.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Especially since you can actually ignore Dr. Masters (I just tested it, wasn't sure if you could do that to an Admin)!

And yes, that is what I am going to do - so this is the last comment I will ever make in this blog, which doesn't deserve to be posted in.



Good, maybe we can enjoy a weather blog again.

I don't think I will miss you ruining the blog.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


wow, this comment answers all my questions...
What questions did you have?


And EnergyMoron, that translation didn't really work out
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Quoting MichaelSTL:


Especially since you can actually ignore Dr. Masters (I just tested it, wasn't sure if you could do that to an Admin)!

And yes, that is what I am going to do - so this is the last comment I will ever make in this blog, which doesn't deserve to be posted in.

Despite the "attacks" which I've heard some people say you make, Michael, you honestly provide some of the best thought out, well written, easy to understand posts. And you always have evidence, or facts, or some graph or chart to back up what you present.

So if you truly are leaving, then I am sorry to hear that. But I really can't blame you, a lot of the people on this blog are in denial, and choose not to listen to what the other side is presenting them.

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Quoting TomTaylor:


Could you put this post in simpler terms please?

or could someone translate lol


i ran this through googel translate ( a product i learned about on this blog... rather worthless )

my moronic non-judgmental

what he is apparently saying is that he wants to preach to the choir...

was rendered a judgmental

what he is saying is That he apparently wants to preach to the choir ...

so, this silly product changes a question (apparently) to an accusation... english to english?

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Quoting JFLORIDA:
By now I know its incorrect, its not science and its motivationally flawed and always will be. I dont need to hear it.


wow, this comment answers all my questions...
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Quoting Orcasystems:


You do not personally attack members.. specially one of the smarter young members.


Killer whales rock.

Good night
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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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