Hurricane Irene Weakens on its Approach to North Carolina

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:58 AM GMT on August 27, 2011

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As of 300AM EDT, Hurricane Irene was located at 33.7N, 76.5W, 60 miles south of Cape Lookout. It was moving north-northeast at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, making it a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Irene has a minimum central pressure of 952 mb.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the US Atlantic coast from the Little River inlet in North Carolina to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts. Tornado watches are also in effect for the North Carolina/Virginia/Maryland coast. Figure 1 shows the hurricane, tropical storm, and tornado watches and warnings for Irene. Remember, a hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected, and tropical storm force winds (greater than 34 mph) will occur within 36 hours. Tropical storm warning means that tropical storm force winds are expected in the next 36 hours, but hurricane conditions are not. A tropical storm watch means tropical storm force winds are possible within 48 hours.

To find out if you need to evacuate, please contact your local emergency management office. They will have the latest information. People living in New York City can find their evacuation zone here or use this map. FEMA has information on preparing for hurricanes. FEMA also has a blog describing their response to Irene.


Figure 1 Map of watches and warnings taken at 225AM EDT, August 27, 2011

Satellite Views
Figure 2 shows that Irene is a large storm, with outflow reaching from South Carolina to Long Island, NY. Irene's eye is not visible.


Figure 2 IR satellite view of Irene taken at 226AM EDT, August 27, 2011

Track Forecast

Irene is forecast to make landfall on the North Carolina coast Saturday morning as a category 1 storm with sustained winds around 90 mph. I believe that Irene's center of circulation will make landfall somewhere between Cape Lookout and Okracoke on the Outer Banks around 9-10 am. Irene should then move roughly north, along the mid-Atlantic coastline before making landfall in western Long Island. However, it is important to not focus solely on the track forecast. Irene is a large storm with a large windfield and equally large areas of storms and showers. It's impact will be felt over a wide swath of the northeastern US.


Figure 3 Official track forecast of Irene at 11PM EDT, Aug. 26.

Irene and Flooding
Six to ten inches of rain are possible along Irene's track from North Carolina north into New England, with 15 inches possible in isolated areas. Radar estimates indicate at least 5 inches have already fallen near Morehead City, NC. As a result, flooding is very likely. The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) has issued their Significant River Flood Outlook for the next five days shown in figure 4. HPC thinks that river flooding from the Delmarva peninsula to northwestern Maine is likely, while river flooding in much of the rest of the northeastern US is possible.


Figure 4 Significant River Flood Outlook issued by HPC.

Impacts

Tropical storm forces winds are occuring at Cape Lookout now, with hurricane force winds expected on the North Carolina coast later today. Use this Wundermap to keep track of how the winds are behaving around the North Carolina coastline. Within the hurricane warning area in North Carolina, storm surge is expected to be 6-11 feet above ground. This is our storm surge forecast map. To see how high the tides are running, NOAA has an excellent page collecting all of the relevant tide gauges.

People living on the the east coast of the US from the Carolinas to Cape Cod should continue monitoring Irene and be in the process of finishing their hurricane preparations. If you have not started preparing for this storm, start immediately. If an evacuation order is given, please follow it, unless it is unsafe to do so. Irene will be a large storm, impacting areas far from the storm center track.

Links

If you're curious about power outages, here are some maps: Dominion Power Outage Map (NC/VA), Progress Energy Outage Map (NC/SC), and NOVEC Outage Map (Northern Virginia).

Dr. Masters will have a new blog entry this morning, and there will be another blog this afternoon. I'll be back with another blog entry late tonight.

Stay safe,

Dr. Rob Carver

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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
got a 950.3mb over land on Irene,still dropping from 952mb ..hmmmmmmmmm


Next thing you know she's gonna sprout an eye over land like TS Fay 2008.
Member Since: August 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 238
Quoting AstroHurricane001:
Good morning, Smokers.



We won't have to use these "radar-from-space" images for very long as Irene has made landfall as a large and thus surge-destructive category one. Outflow bands are now crossing the Appalachians, with the northernmost one near Syracuse.



Hard to believe that even as a category one, the central pressure is 952 mb, the equivalent of a strong category three hurricane. Hurricane warnings still in effect for NYC proper. Remember that although extratropical transition could begin around the time that Irene crosses New Jersey, thus throwing Jersey Shore off air, the transition means a sudden release of moisture on the western side plus a maintaining of barometric and wind intensity. The storm will thus become more elongated, and dump more rains over hilly regions such as lower Upstate New York into Maine. The difference between an extratropical storm and a tropical one is that extratropical storms typically have strong winds at higher elevations, and less toward the surface, so they are not vulnerable to land-based weakening.


thats the worst effect i have heard from Irene....No more snotty, or snuckie, or whats her name? snicky?
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Quoting kathyvb:
Its definitly getting livlier here in Va. Beach, just had a squall come through with wind of probably 50ish mph...Its going to certainly get alot worse before it gets better. According to local news, they're starting to hear damage reports, I'm starting to see tree limbs coming down in my own yard...and the news just reported they rescued two people off a yacht in the bay whose boat broke free. Not a good choice to me.

What are people still doing out on a yacht? (shakes head)
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Radar is showing evidence that convection is starting to fire up around the center. This is most likely in repose to the pressure drop, and the fact the it moving over the bay waters (which are 85-90 degrees)

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Quoting popartpete:
The Weather Channel is a joke. Is Carol Burnett going to show up? It's like "Went With The Wind" Gotta go, I got me a dress to make. "Starlett, that gown is gorgeous!"...."Well I saw in the winda' and couldn't resist it.


LOL. Agree re: joke. How about that top 5 Twitter garbage they do all the time? That reeks of some upper management type thinking out loud, "We need to reach a younger audience. Let's feature The Facebook or The Twitter every 15 minutes. That will make the kids flock to TWC in droves."

Useless, pointless and channel change-inducing.
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Quoting scooster67:

I think He is from there, but is in Miami now.

Like most old northerners :)


Was that a shot?? LOL I am only half Yankee, my mothers family moved here in 1923, I can live in Florida by default.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting Grothar:


I live in Florida but we have a home in Northern Pennsylvania and an apartment in NYC, many in my family live on Long Island, where I was actually born. (My goodness, I am beginning to sound like Grandpa now)


i dont expect blog updates till all is over and you know all your family is ok... :) prayers to all
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
Quoting Grothar:
The ECMWF at 240 hours (Remember these are both very long range forecasts. They change from run to run.

The GFS at longer.

img src="">



img src="">


<


Homegrown GOM!
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


Grothar...aren't u still in the path? I was thinking you are in the NE


I live in Florida but we have a home in Northern Pennsylvania and an apartment in NYC, many in my family live on Long Island, where I was actually born. (My goodness, I am beginning to sound like Grandpa now)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
532. 900MB
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
got a 950.3mb over land on Irene,still dropping from 952mb ..hmmmmmmmmm


Irene is a bizarre storm!
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


Grothar...aren't u still in the path? I was thinking you are in the NE

I think He is from there, but is in Miami now.

Like most old northerners :)
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Its definitly getting livlier here in Va. Beach, just had a squall come through with wind of probably 50ish mph...Its going to certainly get alot worse before it gets better. According to local news, they're starting to hear damage reports, I'm starting to see tree limbs coming down in my own yard...and the news just reported they rescued two people off a yacht in the bay whose boat broke free. Not a good choice to me.
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529. IMA
Live t.v. coverage on-line:

NBC NC

NBC Washington DC

NBC New York

Not a bias toward NBC, just the ones I've found first & seem to have good coverage.
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Quoting LightningCharmer:
If you are referring to AussieStorm, that was merely a cultural or colloquial language difference, and was not meant to be a double-entendre or offensive. At least that's the way I took it. I agree with you that this blog should be able to be read by all ages, and we should govern ourselves accordingly.

I do not find that offensive.

I already now "fag" refers to cigarettes in British and Aussie slang.
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527. HCW
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southeastern ma in temporay sunshine, with no wind..(and also no birds!!
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Delmarva getting soaked, along with the rest of the Mid-Atlantic and NC.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
To Everyone, I am SORRY for the remark i made earlier. As I stated Smoking a cigarette is called that here. I will repeat, If it offended you, I am truly SORRY. I have changed that comment.
Drop the subject now please. Lets get back on the proper subject of this blog Hurricane IRENE.
Thanks.


Aussie...no worries...no offense here...i knew exactly what you meant...removing the post shows the respect of not wanting to offend, i have never seen you post anything ever that was wrong and i have been here several years
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
Quoting AussieStorm:
To Everyone, I am SORRY for the remark i made earlier. As I stated Smoking a cigarette is called that here. I will repeat, If it offended you, I am truly SORRY. I have changed that comment.
Drop the subject now please. Lets get back on the proper subject of this blog Hurricane IRENE.
Thanks.


Well said ....back to the weather
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Time: 13:19:30Z
Coordinates: 34.8333N 76.5W
Acft. Static Air Press: 751.6 mb (~ 22.19 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 2,080 meters (~ 6,824 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 950.3 mb (~ 28.06 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 211° at 25 knots (From the SSW at ~ 28.7 mph)
Air Temp: 20.0°C (~ 68.0°F)
Dew Pt: 17.5°C (~ 63.5°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 26 knots (~ 29.9 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: -
SFMR Rain Rate:

at landfall
Time: 11:49:30Z
Coordinates: 34.65N 76.5667W
Acft. Static Air Press: 752.8 mb (~ 22.23 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 2,068 meters (~ 6,785 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 951.2 mb (~ 28.09 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 226° at 2 knots (From the SW at ~ 2.3 mph)
Air Temp: 19.0°C (~ 66.2°F)
Dew Pt: 18.9°C (~ 66.0°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 4 knots (~ 4.6 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: -
SFMR Rain Rate:
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
got a 950.3mb over land on Irene,still dropping from 952mb ..hmmmmmmmmm


That's cat 3 pressure.
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Morning again!

I'll be doing some live blogging on Irene on my blog, here...

HURRICANE IRENE *Live* Updates from NE New Jersey
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Quoting AussieStorm:
To Everyone, I am SORRY for the remark i made earlier. As I stated Smoking a cigarette is called that here. I will repeat, If it offended you, I am truly SORRY. I have changed that comment.
Drop the subject now please. Lets get back on the proper subject of this blog Hurricane IRENE.
Thanks.
Agreed...
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Quoting Grothar:


I promise I will try harder.


Grothar...aren't u still in the path? I was thinking you are in the NE
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
Quoting AstroHurricane001:
Good morning, Smokers.



We won't have to use these "radar-from-space" images for very long as Irene has made landfall as a large and thus surge-destructive category one. Outflow bands are now crossing the Appalachians, with the northernmost one near Syracuse.



Hard to believe that even as a category one, the central pressure is 952 mb, the equivalent of a strong category three hurricane. Hurricane warnings still in effect for NYC proper. Remember that although extratropical transition could begin around the time that Irene crosses New Jersey, thus throwing Jersey Shore off air, the transition means a sudden release of moisture on the western side plus a maintaining of barometric and wind intensity. The storm will thus become more elongated, and dump more rains over hilly regions such as lower Upstate New York into Maine. The difference between an extratropical storm and a tropical one is that extratropical storms typically have strong winds at higher elevations, and less toward the surface, so they are not vulnerable to land-based weakening.

lmao
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516. IMA
Quoting LightningCharmer:
If you are referring to AussieStorm, that was merely a cultural or colloquial language difference, and was not meant to be a double-entendre or offensive. At least that's the way I took it. I agree with you that this blog should be able to be read by all ages, and we should govern ourselves accordingly.



Well said, Lightning. In all the years I've been on this blog I have never seen Aussie post anything remotely offensive. It is such a commonly used phrase in England & Australia, and as I learned last night, in South Africa, too. Had to explain to a visitor how many people here (less educated/worldly) could take offense. lol
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To Everyone, I am SORRY for the remark i made earlier. As I stated Smoking a cigarette is called that here. I will repeat, If it offended you, I am truly SORRY. I have changed that comment.
Drop the subject now please. Lets get back on the proper subject of this blog Hurricane IRENE.
Thanks.
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Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1496
Quoting SunnyDaysFla:


I check---you have not done one in days!


I promise I will try harder.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
If "fag" is the worst thing children see all day on the internet, let's consider ourselves lucky. Use it as a teaching lesson about difference in language amongst locales.
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Good morning, Smokers.



We won't have to use these "radar-from-space" images for very long as Irene has made landfall as a large and thus surge-destructive category one. Outflow bands are now crossing the Appalachians, with the northernmost one near Syracuse.



Hard to believe that even as a category one, the central pressure is 952 mb, the equivalent of a strong category three hurricane. Hurricane warnings still in effect for NYC proper. Remember that although extratropical transition could begin around the time that Irene crosses New Jersey, thus throwing Jersey Shore off air, the transition means a sudden release of moisture on the western side plus a maintaining of barometric and wind intensity. The storm will thus become more elongated, and dump more rains over hilly regions such as lower Upstate New York into Maine. The difference between an extratropical storm and a tropical one is that extratropical storms typically have strong winds at higher elevations, and less toward the surface, so they are not vulnerable to land-based weakening.
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Quoting LightningCharmer:
If you are referring to AussieStorm, that was merely a cultural or colloquial language difference, and was not meant to be a double-entendre or offensive. At least that's the way I took it. I agree with you that this blog should be able to be read by all ages, and we should govern ourselves accordingly.



LOL. Your are interpreting for Grother.

Is that an Oxymoron or what Gro?
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Quoting aspectre:
Called the same by smokers in the US until the '70s


terminology varies all over and this is the world wide web...people from all over...i went to HS with an exchange student from England...you should have heard the roars of laughter when she asked for an eraser with what they call one over there...
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3666
got a 950.3mb over land on Irene,still dropping from 952mb ..hmmmmmmmmm
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Quoting cjswilmingtoneye:
Checking in with the blog from Kure Beach. The main pier on K Avenue has sustained some minor damage, but looking north up the beach, the next pier is completely gone. Winds still tropical storm force here, but the rain has really let up. We lost power here for a few hours, but its been back on for about two hours now. Happy to say everyone is okay, and glad Irene didn't do too much damage(from what I can see so far...)


are you talking about the carolina beach pier? where they have the fireworks? That's hard to believe!
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
EE was 2 1/2 months. We got ours back on 28 November and it was like HALLELUJAH.
I think it was about Nov'9 where we are.I must agree it was a rather big day when the switch finally got flipped on....ahh such memories?
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505. MZT
Radar from Morehead City. It looks like the heavy rain will be east of a line from Roanoke Rapids to Goldsboro.

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H.Irene's_12pmGMT_ATCF : Starting 26August_12pmGMT and ending 27August_12pmGMT

The 4 line-segments represent HurricaneIrene's path

Deriving the travel-speed&heading from the ATCF coordinates spanning the 6hours between 6amGMT then 12pmGMT : H.Irene's travel-speed was 15mph(20.4k/h) on a heading of 0.0degrees(N)

H.Irene's most recently reported position was in the bay entrance midway between Beaufort (south of MRH) and HarkersIsland to the east.
(Copy and paste 34.7n76.6w into GoogleMaps)
The distances to nearby airports were:
4miles(6.4kilometres) to Beaufort-MoreheadCity(MRH),
and 19miles(30.6kilometres) to Atlantic(12NC)

Copy&paste 30.0n77.4w-31.1n77.5w, 31.1n77.5w-32.1n77.1w, 32.1n77.1w-33.4n76.6w, 33.4n76.6w-34.7n76.6w, 34.7n76.6w-mrh, 34.7n76.6w-12nc into the GreatCircleMapper for more info

The previous mapping (for 27August_6amGMT)
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Quoting largeeyes:
State of Emergency in New Bern. This means....

Likewise, selling of beer, wine, or other intoxicating beverages of any kind are prohibited.


Talk about adding insult to injury!


laaaame. I stocked up here in baltimore last night tho. Storm clouds are officially here... low clouds flying across the sky from the east.

Baltimore harbor got hit pretty hard in Isabel.... I was "that guy", standing at the end of Fells Point at the end of a pier with a bottle of tequila yelling "ISSSAABEEELLL" to the winds. Married now, so part deux is a no go. Still have no regrets about that one ;)

Here's a harbor cam if you guys wanna check and see what the surge is doing... pier in front is a floater. Water level during isabel was over 3' over the bricks in front.

http://weather.weatherbug.com/MD/Baltimore-weathe r/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_ id=KDMH&camera_animate=1
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Quoting E46Pilot:
What caused TD10 to go POOF?

Shear.
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Quoting LightningCharmer:
If you are referring to AussieStorm, that was merely a cultural or colloquial language difference, and was not meant to be a double-entendre or offensive. At least that's the way I took it. I agree with you that this blog should be able to be read by all ages, and we should govern ourselves accordingly.




Agreed
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Quoting Grothar:
You know fellow bloggers, I have posted a number of double entendre blogs, but hopefully they are subtle enough that the younger bloggers do not understand them. We all like a good laugh occassionaly. But my children and grandchildren often read this blog. There are certain things I would prefer them not read. Any of you who have children or grandchildren would feel the same. There is sometimes a fine line which we must be careful not to cross.

I agree with you Gro, but you are probably preaching to the choir. It is probably children that are posting what you are referring to.
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Quoting Grothar:
You know fellow bloggers, I have posted a number of double entendre blogs, but hopefully they are subtle enough that the younger bloggers do not understand them. We all like a good laugh occassionaly. But my children and grandchildren often read this blog. There are certain things I would prefer them not read. Any of you who have children or grandchildren would feel the same. There is sometimes a fine line which we must be careful not to cross.

Sorry, Grothar.
I agree. Let's just stick to the science of meteorology, helpful posts for folks in the path and posts from eye reporters in the storm
Member Since: September 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 293
Quoting LightningCharmer:
If you are referring to AussieStorm, that was merely a cultural or colloquial language difference, and was not meant to be a double-entendre or offensive. At least that's the way I took it. I agree with you that this blog should be able to be read by all ages, and we should govern ourselves accordingly.



Having lived in England I am familiar with the term.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting LightningCharmer:
If you are referring to AussieStorm, that was merely a cultural or colloquial language difference, and was not meant to be a double-entendre or offensive. At least that's the way I took it. I agree with you that this blog should be able to be read by all ages, and we should govern ourselves accordingly.



a bit naive.

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What caused TD10 to go POOF?
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Quoting Grothar:
You know fellow bloggers, I have posted a number of double entendre blogs, but hopefully they are subtle enough that the younger bloggers do not understand them. We all like a good laugh occassionaly. But my children and grandchildren often read this blog. There are certain things I would prefer them not read. Any of you who have children or grandchildren would feel the same. There is sometimes a fine line which we must be careful not to cross.
If you are referring to AussieStorm, that was merely a cultural or colloquial language difference, and was not meant to be a double-entendre or offensive. At least that's the way I took it. I agree with you that this blog should be able to be read by all ages, and we should govern ourselves accordingly.

Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Quoting KeyWestwx:
Yep. It's true! You should see them off camera while trying to light up a cig in 60 MPH winds. TRAGIC!

now thats phunny lol
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Ah man, I really liked this place....

Colleen Roberts also said part of the roof of the Sea Glass Cafe blew off in the storm. Ceiling fans from the patio were flying into Martin Luther King Blvd. Incidents like that, Roberts said, led to the decision to enact the state of emergency and a curfew.
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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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