Category 3 Typhoon Sanba hitting Okinawa

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:00 PM GMT on September 15, 2012

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The winds are rising and heavy rain is lashing Okinawa, Japan where Category 3 Typhoon Sanba is expected to make landfall early Sunday morning local time (early this afternoon U.S. EDT.) Radar loops show that the large 35-mile diameter eye of Sanba is on a track that will bring it across the southern part of Okinawa, and heavy rains and wind gusts of 59 mph and 66 mph have been reported at Naha Airport and Kadena Air Force Base, respectively, over the past few hours. Moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots has weakened Sanba below its Category 5 peak on Friday morning, and satellite loops show that Sanba is weakening, with the cloud tops warming and the eyewall getting eroded on the west side, but Sanba should be able to maintain Category 3 strength as it crosses Okinawa today. Sanba will continue to weaken as it encounters cooler waters and higher wind shear between Okinawa and South Korea Saturday night and Sunday, and is likely to be at Category 1 strength at landfall in South Korea near 18 UTC on Sunday.


Figure 1. Radar image of Typhoon Sanba approaching Okinawa. Image credit: Japan Meteorological Agency.

Sanba: the strongest tropical cyclone of 2012
The most powerful tropical cyclone of 2012 is Typhoon Sanba. Sanba formed as a tropical depression over the western Pacific Ocean on September 10. The storm rapidly strengthened from a Category 1 to a Category 5 storm over very warm waters of 30°C (86°F) in just 24 hours beginning on September 13, and became Category 5 Super Typhoon with 175 mph winds for an 18-hour period ending at 12 UTC Friday, September 14. Sanba is Earth's only Category 5 tropical cyclone so far in 2012; the planet had two such storms in 2011, both in the Western Pacific. The previous strongest tropical cyclone of 2012 was Super Typhoon Guchol, a Category 4 storm with top winds of 150 mph east of the Philippines in June. Sanba is the strongest typhoon in the Western Pacific since October 2010, when Super Typhoon Megi's sustained winds hit 180 mph.



FIgure 2. Super Typhoon Sanba at peak strength, as seen at 04:50 UTC September 13, 2012, by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. At the time, Sanba was a Super Typhoon with sustained winds of 175 mph and gusts to 205 mph. The spectacular eye of Super Typhoon Sanba featured two counter-rotating eddies at the surface. Image credit: NASA.

Links for Sanba
Radar loop from Okinawa
Live traffic with audio and video of Typhoon Sanba approaching.is available from ustream.tv.
Current conditions from Naha Airport, Okinawa, Japan
Current conditions from Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan

Atlantic tropical update
Hurricane Nadine is recurving to the northeast on a track that may bring the storm close to the Azores Islands in 4 - 5 days. Steering currents for Nadine are expected to collapse in about 5 days, and the storm will likely wander for many days in the Central Atlantic.

A tropical wave about 600 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands is moving west at 15 mph, and will spread heavy rain showers and gusty winds over the islands on Sunday. The wave is under a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear, and has only a small amount of heavy thunderstorm activity, due to a large area of dry air surrounding the system. The amount of heavy thunderstorm activity has increased some this afternoon, though. The 12Z run of the NOGAPS model predicts the wave could approach tropical depression strength by Wednesday, when it will be near the Dominican Republic. However, none of the other reliable models develop the system, and the wave doesn't have much spin at present, as seen on an 11:14 am EDT ASCAT pass.. In their 2 pm EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the wave a 20% of developing into a tropical depression by Monday afternoon. A hurricane hunter aircraft is on call for Monday afternoon to investigate the storm, just in case.

Jeff Masters

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Sanba is making landfall on Okinawa.

Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting Tazmanian:



but wind shear is 5 too 10kt


Yeah, like I said, not enough to prevent development, although SHIPS is showing a bit higher shear, more like 10-20kts. I think it will be the dry air and lack of instability that prevent development.
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92L is creating its own moisture field ahead of it, instead of moisture lagging behind the low, 92L is different, it has the moisture ahead of it.
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Not concerned about 92L. Global models do not intensify it past an open wave.
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189. JLPR2
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
SHIPS and LGEM make 92L a strong hurricane.

Globals models will more than likely beat the statistical guidance with regards to 92L's intensity. I don't see this becoming anything serious over the next 48 hours.



Key words. In my opinion the 59knots intensity in 48hrs of the SHIPS is ridiculous. But I wouldn't be surprised if it managed to climb to TD strength or very close to it by Monday.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8503
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
There's some shear, but not enough to prevent development:



There will be some problems with dry air though:



Overall, I'm not too optimistic on this one. Low instability, dry air, and lack of model support are tough obstacles to overcome.



but wind shear is 5 too 10kt

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There's some shear, but not enough to prevent development:



There will be some problems with dry air though:



Overall, I'm not too optimistic on this one. Low instability, dry air, and lack of model support are tough obstacles to overcome.
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92L/INV/XX/XX
MARK
13.09N/53.75W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
SHIPS and LGEM make 92L a strong hurricane.

Globals models will more than likely beat the statistical guidance with regards to 92L's intensity. I don't see this becoming anything serious over the next 48 hours.

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Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167


That 10 knot west wind is right where it should and coincides with the coordinates posted for 92L, this suggest a circulation that might actually be closed.
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That whole northern eyewall is insane!



At this point some of the island is in that northern eyewall, some is directly under the eye, and some is on the back side.
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18z Best Track for 92L!

AL, 92, 2012091518, , BEST, 0, 130N, 530W, 25, 1010, DB

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14048
WHXX01 KWBC 152059

CHGHUR

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

2059 UTC SAT SEP 15 2012



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL922012) 20120915 1800 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

120915 1800 120916 0600 120916 1800 120917 0600



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 13.0N 53.0W 13.8N 54.9W 14.5N 56.5W 15.0N 58.0W

BAMD 13.0N 53.0W 13.7N 56.2W 14.4N 58.9W 15.0N 61.3W

BAMM 13.0N 53.0W 13.7N 55.5W 14.5N 57.6W 15.1N 59.6W

LBAR 13.0N 53.0W 13.7N 55.6W 14.7N 58.1W 15.5N 60.2W

SHIP 25KTS 31KTS 38KTS 48KTS

DSHP 25KTS 31KTS 38KTS 48KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

120917 1800 120918 1800 120919 1800 120920 1800



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 15.6N 59.9W 16.6N 64.1W 18.0N 68.5W 19.1N 72.9W

BAMD 15.4N 63.5W 16.0N 68.2W 16.8N 73.0W 18.0N 77.4W

BAMM 15.6N 61.6W 16.5N 66.2W 17.7N 71.2W 18.9N 76.3W

LBAR 16.5N 62.2W 17.6N 65.9W 18.9N 69.9W 21.0N 74.0W

SHIP 59KTS 78KTS 89KTS 96KTS

DSHP 59KTS 78KTS 89KTS 89KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 13.0N LONCUR = 53.0W DIRCUR = 280DEG SPDCUR = 12KT

LATM12 = 12.5N LONM12 = 50.6W DIRM12 = 280DEG SPDM12 = 11KT

LATM24 = 11.8N LONM24 = 47.1W

WNDCUR = 25KT RMAXWD = 80NM WNDM12 = 25KT

CENPRS = 1010MB OUTPRS = 1012MB OUTRAD = 90NM SDEPTH = S

RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM



$$

NNNN
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
92L will be heading in too vary low wind shear
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
92L!

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al922012.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201209152022
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 92, 2012, DB, O, 2012091518, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL922012
AL, 92, 2012091518, , BEST, 0, 125N, 522W, 25, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,


There we go... I wouldn't go more than 40% change by 8PM. Would like to see how it fairs during DMAX and a couple hours after it before bumping it to 50% to 60% by 2PM tomorrow.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Meantime, another hot and steamy day here at 11n 61w.
Max 95F. At 4:oo pm, 93F.
Still and humid.

BAH !!
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174. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #41
TYPHOON SANBA (T1216)
3:00 AM JST September 16 2012
======================================

SUBJECT: Category Four Typhoon In Sea South Of Okinawa

At 18:00 PM UTC, Typhoon Sanba (925 hPa) located at 25.6N 128.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 90 knots with gusts of 130 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving north at 11 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T5.5

Storm Force Winds
=================
140 NM from the center in eastern quadrant
80 NM from the center in western quadrant

Gale Force Winds
===============
300 NM from the center in eastern quadrant
270 NM from the center in western quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=======================

24 HRS: 31.7N 127.3E - 85 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon) West of Kyushu (Japan)
48 HRS: 39.3N 128.5E - 65 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) Sea Of Japan
72 HRS: 46.4N 132.6E - Extratropical Low near Maritime Province (Russia)


===========
about 3 hours ago.. pressure is still really low but not like the 910 from Bolaven earlier in late August.
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Hey..I see the GFS ensembles are clueless about Nadine..

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172. JLPR2
Fourteen years ago Hurricane Georges was born as TD 7 to the SW of the CV islands.

ZCZC MIATCDAT2 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL DEPRESSION SEVEN DISCUSSION NUMBER 1
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT TUE SEP 15 1998

A TROPICAL WAVE WHICH MOVED OFF THE AFRICAN COAST YESTERDAY HAS
BECOME MUCH BETTER ORGANIZED ON SATELLITE DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS.
SHIP MVLAZ LOCATED JUST NORTH OF THE CENTER NEAR REPORTED 30 KNOT
EASTERLY WINDS AND 1008.8 MB AND ANOTHER SHIP SOUTHWEST OF THE CLOUD
SYSTEM CENTER REPORTED NORTHWEST WINDS ABOUT 20 KNOTS. ON THIS
BASIS...THE SYSTEM IS BEING UPGRADED TO TROPICAL DEPRESSION SEVEN AN
THIS TIME.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8503
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Sanba looks nearly identical to Katrina at landfall.



Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31507


Will Nadine bloom in the night?
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5997
Post 152. Thank You Tom for a clear and tangible explanation as to what is causing the lack of vertical instability in the Caribbean. I really appreciate the feedback.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
167. JLPR2
Will be interesting to see if it tries anything tonight.



Also lets not forget Nadine.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8503
92L:

Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Tunes to survive a Cat 3 by:

Handel, Water Music
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164. SLU
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
92L!

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al922012.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201209152022
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 92, 2012, DB, O, 2012091518, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL922012
AL, 92, 2012091518, , BEST, 0, 125N, 522W, 25, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,


Finally. I was about to question the rational of the professionals at the NHC.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
XX/INV/92L/XX
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
BULLETIN
HURRICANE NADINE ADVISORY NUMBER 18
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142012
500 PM AST SAT SEP 15 2012

...NADINE NOW MOVING EASTWARD...


SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...30.8N 48.2W
ABOUT 980 MI...1580 KM E OF BERMUDA
ABOUT 1305 MI...2095 KM WSW OF THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...E OR 90 DEGREES AT 17 MPH...28 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...983 MB...29.03 INCHES
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
161. JLPR2
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
92L!

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al922012.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201209152022
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 92, 2012, DB, O, 2012091518, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL922012
AL, 92, 2012091518, , BEST, 0, 125N, 522W, 25, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,


Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8503
Quoting washingtonian115:
Ya'll act like this is the worst typhoon Okinawa has ever seen.This is nothing that they can't Handel....I doubt by next month anyone on here will remember Sanba like that or mention it.


This is true, that is why the street on the cam Dr. Masters posted has a steady stream of cars driving. Here in Florida, we would be under martial law for a category 3. Still, a category 3, no matter where it hits, is impressive. This jog to the right changes things for the better though for Okinawa.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
92L!

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al922012.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201209152022
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 92, 2012, DB, O, 2012091518, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL922012
AL, 92, 2012091518, , BEST, 0, 125N, 522W, 25, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,


good! lol need to push more north though
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
From the San Juan NWS.

EXPECT TROPICAL WAVE CURRENTLY EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS...TO
CONTINUE MOVING WEST TO WEST NORTHWEST TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY
NIGHT AND MONDAY...AND THEN BEGIN TO AFFECT THE LOCAL AREA MONDAY
AFTERNOON AND NIGHT...WITH ASSOCIATED ACTIVE WEATHER PROBABLY
CONTINUING THROUGH AT LEAST TUESDAY OR TUESDAY NIGHT. WE WILL
NEED TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS TROPICAL WAVE...AS IT HAS THE
POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE LOCAL ISLANDS.


That's what I actually love to read lol
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92L!

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al922012.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201209152022
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 92, 2012, DB, O, 2012091518, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL922012
AL, 92, 2012091518, , BEST, 0, 125N, 522W, 25, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14048
Best surface obs I can find on wave just east of Antilles.



Here is the link to the full data:

Link
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 103
From the San Juan NWS.

EXPECT TROPICAL WAVE CURRENTLY EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS...TO
CONTINUE MOVING WEST TO WEST NORTHWEST TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY
NIGHT AND MONDAY...AND THEN BEGIN TO AFFECT THE LOCAL AREA MONDAY
AFTERNOON AND NIGHT...WITH ASSOCIATED ACTIVE WEATHER PROBABLY
CONTINUING THROUGH AT LEAST TUESDAY OR TUESDAY NIGHT. WE WILL
NEED TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS TROPICAL WAVE...AS IT HAS THE
POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE LOCAL ISLANDS.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14048
Quoting TomTaylor:
MJO slowly trying to come back?


Lol, I told you last night Tom...of course, why would I expect you to listen?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31507
Quoting washingtonian115:
Ya'll act like this is the worst typhoon Okinawa has ever seen.This is nothing that they can't Handel....I doubt by next month anyone on here will remember Sanba like that or mention it.


everyone here overreacts.. the reason why i'm barley on this blog anymore.. But i'm nobody so who cares!!
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
What I want to know is what is causing this lack of vertical instability? Is it the drought conditions over the Central Plains?
Incredible amounts of downward motion over the Caribbean region.

Velocity Potential Anomalies (bottom image) for the last 30 days




If you look at that 200hPa velocity potential anomaly image (not the top image, but the bottom one), you can see the Caribbean (and surrounding areas) experienced the most anomalously positive velocity potential of any other region in the world. Positive velocity potential anomalies are a sign of convergent air. Air converging aloft must go somewhere, so it sinks. A parcel of sinking air warms as it sinks, as a result of compression. Warmer air in the upper levels of the atmosphere reduces instability of the atmosphere. Furthermore, the warming raises dew points, reducing relative humidity. Drier, converging limits tropical development which requires moist diverging air aloft. When you have less instability and net downward motion (sinking air) over the region, it is hard to achieve convection (upward motion).

Like most anomalies in the atmosphere, there isn't one individual factor that is solely causing this downward motion, instead its a blend of many factors. For one, the near average SST anomalies in the Caribbean favor a stable atmosphere over the region. Secondly, the warm-neutral to weak El Nino conditions we have been seen in the Pacific favor net downward motion over our region through the walker circulation. Also, the MJO's weak presence over the Indian ocean and SE Pacific over the last month has favored upward motion there, favoring net downward motion over here.


SST Anomalies for the Last 30 Days




MJO Phase Diagram for the Last 30 Days



Finally, the longwave pattern over North America has not been favorable for upward motion in the Caribbean. For the month of August we have had lower heights (referring to the 500hPa level) over the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys. Normally, during the summer months, if we want development in the Caribbean you want to see higher heights in this region. Higher heights promote higher surface pressures over North America which allows for greater surface convergence to the south, or over the tropics.

500mb Height Anomaly for August 2012




Also, higher heights to the north of the Caribbean tend to allow for greater ventilation for the region as a whole, whereas a trough to the north tends to push air towards the tropics. If we look at upper level height anomalies, you will also see lower heights over the same region. The flow around the backside of the net troughing pushes air from the fast wind flow of the westerlies SEward into the slow flow of the tropics. Since the wind slows down in the tropics, it causes air to pile up, or converge. Upper level convergence dries, warms, and promotes stability in the atmosphere, as previously explained.





So as you can see, there are multiple reasons behind the convergent air over the Caribbean region. The convergent air aloft has promoted net downward motion over the region, which makes it hard to achieve and sustain convection (upward motion). The downward motion has also dried out the atmosphere and raised temperatures in the upper levels of the atmosphere, which reduces instability over the region.
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151. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting TomTaylor:
MJO slowly trying to come back?



It's weaker. Kinda broke into 2 areas, one in the WPAC & then there's the divergence setting off the EPAC. The lift in the EPAC has been moving toward the Caribbean the last few days.

TRMM 3B42 Rain Rates (shaded) overlaid with 200 hPa Velocity Potential Anomalies (contoured)
Negative 200 hPa Velocity Potential Anomalies (Divergence) are cool-colored contours
Positive 200 hPa Velocity Potential Anomalies (Convergence) are warm-colored contours
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Ya'll act like this is the worst typhoon Okinawa has ever seen.This is nothing that they can't Handel....I doubt by next month anyone on here will remember Sanba like that or mention it.


I know, just like Astrid.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25381
Quoting washingtonian115:
Just adds to the list of weak un- memorable female storms this year.Nadine you had a chance to be a major...

I'm losing confidence we'll see another major this year.


Not so fast! Gordon, and Kirk all looked pathetic at first, but when it reached the north-central atlantic they really put on a show. Don't count this one out yet.

If I were in the Azores I would be keeping a close eye on potentially round 2.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
192 hrs.



216 hrs.



Whatever forms gets absorbed by the front.


two lows there next to each other?
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Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting sunshineandshowers:
the ustream link doc masters posted of okinawa looks crazy right now. the noise!
Thankfully conditions actually don't seem to bad right now considering their proximity to the eye.
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Ya'll act like this is the worst typhoon Okinawa has ever seen.This is nothing that they can't Handel....I doubt by next month anyone on here will remember Sanba like that or mention it.
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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.