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        GHRC also hosts a database of Atlantic and Pacific tropical storm tracks derived from the storm data published by the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
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      • Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) is an Earth Ventures – Suborbital 1 mission aimed at better understanding the physical processes that control hurricane intensity change, addressing questions related to the roles of environmental conditions and internal storm structures to storm intensification.

        A variety of in-situ, satellite observations, airborne data, meteorological analyses, and simulation data were collected with missions over the Atlantic in August and September of three observation years (2012, 2013, 2014). These data are available at GHRC beginning in 2015.
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      • The Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) experiment was a NASA Earth science field experiment in 2010 that was conducted to better understand how tropical storms form and develop into major hurricanes.

        The GRIP deployment was 15 August – 30 September 2010 with bases in Ft. Lauderdale, FL for the DC-8, at Houston, TX for the WB-57, and at NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility, CA for the Global Hawk.
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      • The NASA TC4 (Tropical Composition, Cloud and Climate Coupling) mission investigated the structure and properties of the chemical, dynamic, and physical processes in atmosphere of the tropical Eastern Pacific.

        TC4 was based in San Jose, Costa Rica during July 2007.

        The Real Time Mission Monitor provided simultaneous aircraft status for three aircraft during the TC4 experiment. During TC4, the NASA ER-2, WB-57 and DC-8 aircraft flew missions at various times. The science flights were scheduled between 17 July and 8 August 2007.
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      • The NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (NAMMA) campaign was a field research investigation based in the Cape Verde Islands, 350 miles off the coast of Senegal in west Africa.

        Commenced in August 2006, NASA scientists employed surface observation networks and aircraft to characterize the evolution and structure of African Easterly Waves (AEWs) and Mesoscale Convective Systems over continental western Africa, and their associated impacts on regional water and energy budgets.
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      • The Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP) mission was an Earth science field research investigation focused on the study of the dynamics and thermodynamics of precipitating cloud systems and tropical cyclones. TCSP was conducted during the period July 1-27, 2005 out of the Juan Santamaria Airfield in San Jose, Costa Rica.

        The TCSP field experiment flew 12 NASA ER-2 science flights, including missions to Hurricanes Dennis and Emily, Tropical Storm Gert and an eastern Pacific mesoscale complex that may possibly have further developed into Tropical Storm Eugene.
    • ACES (2002)
      • The Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES) was aimed at better understanding the causes and effects of electrical storms.

        Based at the Naval Air Station Key West in Florida, researchers in August 2002 chased down thunderstorms using an uninhabited aerial vehicle, or "UAV", allowing them to achieve dual goals of gathering weather data safely and testing new aircraft technology. This marked the first time a UAV was used to conduct lightning research.
    • CAMEX-4 (2001)
      • The Convection And Moisture EXperiment (CAMEX) was a series of NASA-sponsored hurricane science field research investigations. The fourth field campaign in the CAMEX series (CAMEX-4) was held in 16 August - 24 September, 2001 and was based out of Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Florida.

        CAMEX-4 was focused on the study of tropical cyclone (hurricane) development, tracking, intensification, and landfalling impacts using NASA-funded aircraft and surface remote sensing instrumentation.
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        CAMEX-3 successfully studied Hurricanes Bonnie, Danielle, Earl and Georges, yielding data on hurricane structure, dynamics, and motion. CAMEX-3 collected data for research in tropical cyclone development, tracking, intensification, and landfalling impacts using NASA-funded aircraft and surface remote sensing instrumentation.
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      • The NASA Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM) Ground Validation (GV) program includes the following field campaigns:

        a) LPVEx, Gulf of Finland in autumn 2010, to study rainfall in high latitude environments

        b) MC3E, cental Oklahoma spring and early summer 2011, to develop a complete characterization of convective cloud systems, precipitation and the environment

        c) GCPEx, Ontario, Canada winter of 2011-2012, direct and remove sensing observations, and coordinated model simulations of precipitating snow.

        d) IFloodS, Iowa, spring and early summer 2013, to study the relative roles of rainfall quantities and other factors in flood genesis.

        e) IPHEx, N. Carolina Appalachians/Piedmont region May-June 2014, for hydrologic validation over varied topography.

        f) OLYMPEx, Washington's Olympic Peninsula scheduled November 2015-February 2016, for hydrologic validation in extreme coastal and topographic gradients
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      • The GPM Cold-season Precipitation Experiment (GCPEx) occurred in Ontario, Canada during the winter season (Jan 15- Feb 26) of 2011-2012.

        GCPEx addressed shortcomings in GPM snowfall retrieval algorithm by collecting microphysical properties, associated remote sensing observations, and coordinated model simulations of precipitating snow. Collectively the GCPEx data set provides a high quality, physically-consistent and coherent data set suited to the development and testing of GPM snowfall retrieval algorithm physics.
    • MC3E (2011)
      • The Mid-latitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) took place in central Oklahoma during the April–June 2011 period.

        The overarching goal was to provide the most complete characterization of convective cloud systems, precipitation, and the environment that has ever been obtained, providing constraints for model cumulus parameterizations and space-based rainfall retrieval algorithms over land that had never before been available.
    • LPVEx (2010)
      • The Light Precipitation Evaluation Experiment (LPVEx) took place in the Gulf of Finland in September and October, 2010 and collected microphysical properties, associated remote sensing observations, and coordinated model simulations of high latitude precipitation systems to drive the evaluation and development of precipitation algorithms for current and future satellite platforms.

        In doing so, LPVEx sought to address the general lack of dedicated ground-validation datasets from the ongoing development of new or improved algorithms for detecting and quantifying high latitude rainfall
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Tropical Storms Track Database

Storm Tracks Home

 

Information

Tropical Storm Database Services

 

Data Publisher

National Hurricane Center

 

Other Data Sources

NASA Earthdata Search

HyDRO

Coincidence Search Engine

 

TROPICAL STORM DATABASE SERVICES

Table of Contents

Description

Our tropical storm database is a distillation of the HURDAT data, available from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The NHC post-analyzes the storm data for a year and updates the files in March or April of the following year. At that point we download the HURDAT files and load them into our database.

During hurricane season (roughly April through January) we also monitor the NHC web site for ongoing storms. These are loaded into the database as soon as possible, but there is generally a 6-12 hour delay from the time of observation until the information is loaded into our database.

Please note that we reprocess the HURDAT data for the previous storm season when it becomes available. This may change the information collected during the storm season: Storms may be added, deleted, renamed, or (most often) renumbered. Furthermore, note that the NHC is free to modify or augment the storm track data while a storm is ongoing, so the track data for a storm may change.

We are currently storing the storms for three basins, Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, and Central Pacific. The Atlantic storm data go back to 1851, and the Pacific data go back to 1949.

Information Collected

We extract the following information for each storm:


Attribute Format Description
stormid yyyynnb Our internal storm-id. This is also a year followed by a sequence number within the year. This is followed by a basin indicator. We are currently using "1" for Atlantic storms, "2" for Eastern Pacific storms, and "3" for Central Pacific storms.
hnumber yyyynn The storm number assigned by the NHC where "yyyy" is the year of the storm and "nn" is the sequence number (01-69) of the storm within the year.
pnumber yyyynn The "popular" storm number for the storm. This number was assigned during the hurricane season by the NHC. Post-season analysis may have added additional storms in between known storms, thus upsetting the sequencing. The NHC updates their "hnumber" values to keep the storms in chronological order. Historically we kept the "pnumber" values to allow storms to be fetched by those numbers; however, due to a change in the way the NHC formats the annual hurricane data, we can no longer do that, so the "pnumber" is always equal to the "hnumber". It has been kept in the database so as not to perturb existing software.
fromdate yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ssZ The date and time of the first storm observation. Generally, storms are only "observed" at six-hour intervals (00Z, 06Z, 12Z, and 18Z).
thrudate yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ssZ The date and time of the last storm observation.
name xxxxxxxxxxxx The name assigned to the storm. Early storms were not named, so this field may contain "UNNAMED". For a period of time, the NHC "named" the additional storms added during post-season analysis as "SUBTROPn". In recent years, those added, but not named storms are sometimes called "TDnn".
minlat [-]dd.d The southernmost latitude of the storm center.
maxlat [-]dd.d The northernmost latitude of the storm center.
minlon [-]ddd.d The westernmost longitude of the storm center.
maxlon [-]ddd.d The easternmost longitude of the storm center.
maxwind ddddd The maximum sustained wind speed of the storm in nautical miles per hour (knots). This information is not available for many early storms and is reported as zero.
minpress dddddd The minimum barometric pressure of the storm in millibars. This information is not available for many early storms and is reported as zero.
maxcat xx The maximum category attained by the storm. See the table below.
landfall xx The maximum category of the storm at landfall, if any. See below.

For each storm, there are one or more storm track observations. These are linked to the storm using our internal stormid. Each storm track record contains the following information:


Attribute Format Description
stormid yyyynnb The link to the storm record.
datetime yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ssZ The date and time of this observation. Since storms are only "tracked" at six-hour intervals, "hh" is generally "00", "06", "12", or "18", and "mm:ss" is most often "00:00". However, for the 2012 storm season onward, NHC may add interpolated data at non-six-hour intervals.
cat xx The current category of the storm. See the table below.
flag x Some track records have an associated flag value: L - Landfall, C - Closest approach without landfall, W - Maximum sustained wind, S - Change of system status, P - Minimum central pressure, G - Genesis, I - Pressure and wind intensity peak, T - Additional detail on track.
lat [-]dd.d The current latitude of the storm's center.
lon [-]ddd.d The current longitude of the storm's center.
wind ddddd The current sustained wind speed in nautical miles per hour (knots).
press dddddd The current barometric pressure in millibars.
xx34kt ddd.d The radius of the storm's 34 knot winds, where xx is "ne", "se", "sw", or "nw". These data are only available after the storm season is over and are very sparse.
xx50kt ddd.d The radius of the storm's 50 knot winds, where xx is "ne", "se", "sw", or "nw". These data are only available after the storm season is over and are very sparse.
xx64kt ddd.d The radius of the storm's 64 knot winds, where xx is "ne", "se", "sw", or "nw". These data are only available after the storm season is over and are very sparse.

The following values may be found in the "category" field:


Category Meaning Category Meaning Category Meaning
NANot known TDTropical depression H1Category 1 hurricane
DBDisturbance EDExtratropical depression H2Category 2 hurricane
WVWave SSSubtropical storm H3Category 3 hurricane
LPLow pressure TSTropical storm H4Category 4 hurricane
SDSubtropical depression ESExtratropical storm H5Category 5 hurricane

Storm Services

The storms database may be searched using the "Storm Search" REST service, and the track information for a storm may be retrieved using the "Storm Track" REST service. The SOAP interfaces are no longer supported.

Storm Search Service

The storm search service may be invoked or using a REST-like interface (HTML input and XML output).

The REST-like interface uses HTML GET protocol to specify the search parameters:

https://ghrc.nsstc.nasa.gov/services/storms/search.pl
  [?name=storm name]
  [&from=yyyy-mm-dd]
  [&thru=yyyy-mm-dd]
  [&north=[-]dd.d]
  [&south=[-]dd.d]
  [&west=[-]ddd.d]
  [&east=[-]ddd.d]
  [&minwinds=ddd]
  [&maxwinds=ddd]
  [&minpressure=dddd]
  [&maxpressure=dddd]
  [&mincategory=x]
  [&maxcategory=x]
  [&basin=xx]

All parameters are optional. Note that the first parameter is separated from "search.pl" by a question mark (?), and that all subsequent parameters are separated from the previous parameter by an ampersand (&). For example,

https://ghrc.nsstc.nasa.gov/services/storms/search.pl?from=2004-01-01&thru=2004-12-31

searches for all of the storms from calendar year 2004.

Parameter Descriptions

The search parameters are defined as follows:


Attribute Meaning
name The name of the storm of interest. This can be an exact name (e.g., "KATRINA") or a partial name with Unix wildcards. For example, "K?TR*" matches all storms beginning with K, followed by any character, followed by "TR", and optionally followed by any additional characters.
from, thru The UTC date range of interest. Each date must be specified as yyyy-mm-dd. Leading zeros, if necessary, are required. The "from" date must, of course, not exceed the "thru" date. For example, "2010-06-29".
north, south The latitudes of the bounding box of interest. Each must be specified as decimal degrees in the range -90.0 (South pole) to 90.0 (North pole). The "south" bound must not be larger than the "north" bound.
west, east The longitudes of the bounding box of interest. Each must be specified as decimal degrees in the range -180.0 (Dateline) eastward to 180.0. If the "west" value exceeds the "east" value, then the area-of-interest crosses the Dateline.
minwinds, maxwinds The range of maximum wind speeds of interest. Each must be specified as an integer in nautical miles per hour (knots). The "minwinds" value must not exceed the "maxwinds" value.
minpressure, maxpressure The range of minimum pressure values of interest. Each must be specified as an integer in millibars. The "minpressure" value must not exceed the "maxpressure" value.
mincategory, maxcategory The range of maximum storm categories of interest. Each must be specified as a single character as follows (listed in ascending order of severity):
L - Unknown, disturbance, wave, or low pressure
D - Tropical, subtropical, or extratropical depression
S - Tropical, subtropical, or extratropical storm
1 - Category-1 hurricane
2 - Category-2 hurricane
3 - Category-3 hurricane
4 - Category-4 hurricane
5 - Category-5 hurricane
basin The basin to search. Allowable values are "AT" (Atlantic basin), "EP" (Eastern Pacific basin), and "CP" (Central Pacific basin). If omitted, all basins are searched.

Search Response

The response will look like one of the following:

<StormSearchResponse
  xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="https://ghrc.nsstc.nasa.gov/services/storms/search.xsd>
   [<Storm
      stormid="stormid"
      hnumber="integer"
      pnumber="integer"
      name="storm name"
      from="yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss"
      thru="yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss"
      north="[-]dd.d"
      south="[-]dd.d"
      west="[-]ddd.d"
      east="[-]ddd.d"
      maxwind="ddddd"
      minpressure="dddddd"
      maxcategory="xx"
      basin="xx"
    />...]
</StormSearchResponse>

This form of the response indicates a successful search. However, note that it is possible for a successful search to return no results, indicated by the absence of any <Storm> tags.

The response fields are defined as follows:


Attribute Meaning
stormid The internal storm-id assigned to this storm which has the form yyyynnb, where yyyy is the year, nn is the chronological storm number, and b is the basin (1 - Atlantic, 2 - Eastern Pacific, 3 - Central Pacific). Note that this is the internally-generated storm number which may not match those assigned by the NHC during the hurricane season.
hnumber The NHC-assigned number of the storm in the form yyyynn, where yyyy is the year and nn is the sequential storm number within the year (01-69).
pnumber The "popular" number of the storm in the form yyyynn, where yyyy is the year and nn is the sequential storm number within the year (01-69). We no longer keep track of this value, so it will always be equal to the "hnumber" value.
name The name of the storm. This can be a "real" storm name, (e.g., "KATRINA"), "UNNAMED", "SUBTROPn", or "TDnn". In recent years, the NHC has been "naming" unnamed storms with spelled-out English numbers (e.g., "ONE", "TWO"). Note that the storm name may change during the storm's life if it is an ongoing storm.
from, thru The date span of the storm. Each value is specified as yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss. Since storms are normally tracked at six-hour intervals (0Z, 6Z, 12Z, 18Z), mm:ss is most often "00:00".
north, south The latitude range of the storm's center, specified in decimal degrees in the range -90.0 (South pole) to 90.0 (North pole). Note that this is the storm's center and not the extent.
west, east The longitude range of the storm's center, specified in decimal degrees in the range -180.0 (Dateline) eastward to 180.0 (Dateline). If the "west" value exceeds the "east" value, then the range crosses the Dateline. Note that this is the storm's center and not the extent.
maxwind The maximum wind speed recorded for the storm, in nautical miles per hour (knots). This value may be zero if it is unknown.
minpressure The minimum pressure recorded for the storm, in millibars. This value may be zero if it is unknown.
maxcategory The maximum category achieved by the storm. The same values are used as described above.
basin The basin assigned to the storm, either "AT" (Atlantic), "EP" (Eastern Pacific), or "CP" (Central Pacific).

Alternatively, the following message may be returned:

<StormSearchResponse
  xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="https://ghrc.nsstc.nasa.gov/services/storms/search.xsd>
    <Error msg="Error message text"/>
</StormSearchResponse>

If this form of the response is returned, then something was wrong with the search, as explained by the error message text. Typical errors include missing or invalid search parameters or an inability to access the database.

Storm Track Service

Once the stormid of the desired storm is obtained, it is possible to retrieve the track information for the storm. The storm track service may be invoked using a REST-like interface (HTML input and XML output).

This service may be called using one of two methods: Either by specifying the stormid (yyyynnb) or by specifying the year and the name of the storm. One or the other must be specified. The presence of a stormid value overrides any year or name specifications.

The REST-like interface uses HTML GET protocol to specify the search parameters:

https://ghrc.nsstc.nasa.gov/services/storms/track.pl
  [?name=storm name&year=yyyy] OR
  [?stormid=yyyynnb]

Either a storm name and a year or a stormid must be specified. For example,

https://ghrc.nsstc.nasa.gov/services/storms/track.pl?stormid=205111

fetches the storm track for the storm identified as 2005111 (eleventh storm in 2005 in the Atlantic basin). Note that this value must be our stormid, not the NHC hnumber or pnumber.

Parameter Descriptions

The input parameters are defined as follows:


Attribute Meaning
name The exact name of the storm desired. Wildcards are not permitted. If "name" is specified, "year" must also be specified.
year The year (yyyy) of the storm. If "year" is specified, then "name" must also be specified.
stormid The internal storm-id of the storm, as returned by the Storm Search service, described above. This has the format yyyynnb, where yyyy is the year, nn is the chronological storm number, and b is the basin indicator (1 for Atlantic, 2 for Eastern Pacific, 3 for Central Pacific). If the stormid is specified, any "name" or "year" values are ignored.

Track Response

The response will look like one of the following:

<StormTrackResponse
  xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="https://ghrc.nsstc.nasa.gov/services/storms/track.xsd
  stormid="yyyynnb"
  name="name"
  pnumber="yyyynn"
  hnumber="yyyynn"
  from="yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss"
  thru="yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss"
  minlat="[-]dd.d"
  maxlat="[-]dd.d"
  minlon="[-]ddd.d"
  maxlon="[-]ddd.d"
  maxwind="ddd"
  minpress="dddd"
  maxcat="xx"
  basin="xx">
    <Track
      date="yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss"
      flag="x"
      category="xx"
      latitude="[-]dd.d"
      longitude="[-]ddd.d"
      windspeed="ddddd"
      pressure="dddddd"
      r34kt="ddd.d,ddd.d,ddd.d,ddd.d"
      r50kt="ddd.d,ddd.d,ddd.d,ddd.d"
      r64kt="ddd.d,ddd.d,ddd.d,ddd.d"
    />...
</StormTrackResponse>

This form of the response indicates successful completion. There should be one or more <Track> tags returned, indicating the track of the storm.

The response fields are defined as follows:


Attribute Meaning
stormid The internal storm-id assigned to this storm which has the form yyyynnb, where yyyy is the year, nn is the chronological storm number, and b is the basin (1 - Atlantic, 2 - Eastern Pacific, 3 - Central Pacific). Note that this is the internally-generated storm number which may not match those assigned by the NHC during the hurricane season.
name The name of the storm. This can be a "real" storm name, (e.g., "KATRINA"), "UNNAMED", "SUBTROPn", or "TDnn". In recent years, the NHC has been "naming" unnamed storms with spelled-out English numbers (e.g., "ONE", "TWO"). Note that the storm name may change during the storm's life if it is an ongoing storm.
pnumber The "popular number" assigned to the storm during the storm season in the format yyyynn. This value may differ from the stormid, but will always equal the hnumber.
hnumber The "hnumber" assigned to the storm by the NHC in the format yyyynn. This value may differ from the stormid, but will always equal the pnumber.
from, thru The date span of the storm. Each value is specified as yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ssZ. Since storms are normally tracked at six-hour intervals (0Z, 6Z, 12Z, 18Z), mm:ss is most often "00:00".
minlat, maxlat The latitude range of the storm's center, specified in decimal degrees in the range -90.0 (South pole) to 90.0 (North pole). Note that this is the storm's center and not the extent.
minlon, maxlon The longitude range of the storm's center, specified in decimal degrees in the range -180.0 (Dateline) eastward to 180.0 (Dateline). If the "west" value exceeds the "east" value, then the range crosses the Dateline. Note that this is the storm's center and not the extent.
maxwind The maximum wind speed recorded for the storm, in nautical miles per hour (knots). This value may be zero if it is unknown.
minpress The minimum pressure recorded for the storm, in millibars. This value may be zero if it is unknown.
maxcat The maximum category achieved by the storm. The same values are used as described above.
basin The basin assigned to the storm, "AT" (Atlantic) "EP" (Eastern Pacific), or "CP (Central Pacific).
date The UTC date and time of this track point in the format yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss. Since track points are usually only at six hour intervals (0Z, 6Z, 12Z, and 18Z), the mm:ss values are most often "00:00".
flag Some track records have an associated flag value: L - Landfall, C - Closest approach without landfall, W - Maximum sustained wind, S - Change of system status, P - Minimum central pressure, G - Genesis, I - Pressure and wind intensity peak, T - Additional detail on track.
category The category of the storm at this date and time. The same codes as described above are used.
latitude, longitude The latitude and longitude of the storm's center in decimal degrees. Latitude values range from -90.0 (South pole) to 90.0 (North pole). Longitude values range from -180.0 (Dateline) eastward to 180.0 (Dateline).
windspeed The wind speed in nautical miles per hour (knots). This value may be zero if it is unknown.
pressure The atmospheric pressure in millibars. This value may be zero if it is unknown.
r34kt The northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest radii of the storm's 34 knot winds in nautical miles. This information is rarely available for older storms and is only captured when the season's data are reprocessed.
r50kt The northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest radii of the storm's 50 knot winds in nautical miles. This information is rarely available for older storms and is only captured when the season's data are reprocessed.
r64kt The northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest radii of the storm's 64 knot winds in nautical miles. This information is rarely available for older storms and is only captured when the season's data are reprocessed.

Alternatively, the following message may be returned:

<StormTrackResponse
  xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="https://ghrc.nsstc.nasa.gov/services/storms/track.xsd>
    <Error msg="Error message text"/>
</StormTrackResponse>

If this form of the response is returned, then something was wrong with the request, as explained by the error message text. Typical errors include missing or invalid parameters or an inability to access the database.

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