Spring Flood Outlook #2 Issued March 7, 2013

The following spring flood outlook is the last scheduled outlook for 2013. If significant changes occur, an updated outlook may be issued.

For the latest river forecast information, please visit our Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services page.

Current river information used in NWS hydrologic products are provided by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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PROBABILISTIC HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
1100 AM CST THU MAR 7 2013

...2013 SPRING FLOOD AND WATER RESOURCES OUTLOOK NUMBER 2...

THIS OUTLOOK IS FOR STREAMS WITHIN THE NWS CHICAGO HYDROLOGIC
SERVICE AREA...WHICH INCLUDES ILLINOIS RIVER TRIBUTARIES IN
NORTHEAST ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST INDIANA. IT INCLUDES THE ILLINOIS
RIVER DOWN TO LA SALLE. IT ALSO INCLUDES STREAMS WITHIN THE ROCK
RIVER BASIN IN NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS AND THE ROCK RIVER FROM
ROCKTON DOWN TO DIXON ILLINOIS. THIS OUTLOOK IS FOR THE TIME PERIOD
FROM LATE MARCH THROUGH EARLY JUNE.

...OUTLOOK SUMMARY...
THE POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING HAS INCREASED SLIGHTLY SINCE THE LAST
OUTLOOK ON FEB 21...AS A RESULT OF ABOVE NORMAL SNOWFALL ACROSS THE
AREA FROM RECENT WINTER STORMS. THE RISK OF FLOODING THIS SPRING IS
NEAR NORMAL ACROSS NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST INDIANA. ONE OF
THE KEY FACTORS IN ANY FLOODING IN THE COMING WEEKS WILL BE THE RATE
OF MELT OF THE EXISTING SNOWPACK AND THE AMOUNT OF ANY ADDITIONAL
PRECIPITATION DURING THE MELT PERIOD. ANOTHER FACTOR IS THE FROZEN
GROUND BENEATH THE SNOWPACK. THE RATE OF FROST MELT BENEATH THE
SNOWPACK WILL DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF INFILTRATION AND SOIL MOISTURE
RECHARGE OR RUNOFF THAT WILL OCCUR.

THIS SPRING OUTLOOK IS BASED ON HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS INCLUDING THE
CURRENT SOIL MOISTURE...SNOWPACK...AND STREAMFLOW CONDITIONS AT THE
TIME OF ISSUANCE. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS CAN
CHANGE RAPIDLY DURING LATE WINTER AND EARLY SPRING. THESE OUTLOOKS
ARE ISSUED EACH LATE WINTER AND EARLY SPRING IN ADDITION TO THE 7
DAY RIVER FORECASTS THAT ARE ISSUED WHEN RIVER FORECAST LOCATIONS
ARE IN FLOOD OR ARE FORECAST TO RISE ABOVE FLOOD STAGE.

...CURRENT SNOW COVER AND LIQUID WATER EQUIVALENT...
WINTER STORMS SINCE THE LAST OUTLOOK ON FEB 21 HAVE DEPOSITED
SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW OVER NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND PORTIONS OF
NORTHWEST INDIANA. THE MOST RECENT WINTER STORM ON MARCH 5 DEPOSITED
AN ADDITIONAL 6 TO 10 INCHES. CURRENT SNOW DEPTHS AS REPORTED BY NWS
COOPERATIVE OBSERVER AND COCORAHS REPORTS WERE GENERALLY
BETWEEN 3 AND 6 INCHES IN AREAS SOUTH OF I-80 AND BETWEEN 6 AND 12
INCHES IN AREAS NORTH OF I-80. THE DEEPEST SNOWPACK EXISTS IN
NORTHERN ILLINOIS COUNTIES BORDERING WISCONSIN. WATER EQUIVALENTS OF
THE EXISTING SNOWPACK WERE BETWEEN 1 AND 2.5 INCHES.

...PAST PRECIPITATION AND SOIL CONDITIONS...
SEVERE TO EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS PLAGUED NORTHERN ILLINOIS
DURING THE SUMMER OF 2012 AND PERSISTED INTO FALL. AS OF MARCH 7
...MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS CONTINUED OVER A LARGE AREA OF
NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS. SOME RIVER LOCATIONS RECORDED NEAR RECORD
LOW STREAMFLOWS THIS PAST SUMMER. PRECIPITATION DURING THE FALL WAS
50 TO 75 PERCENT OF MEAN ACROSS NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST
INDIANA. PRECIPITATION FOR THE DECEMBER THROUGH JANUARY TIME FRAME
RANGED FROM NEAR NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL WITH THE MAJORITY
OF PRECIPITATION FALLING AS RAIN. SNOWFALL DURING THAT TIME WAS WELL
BELOW NORMAL. THE PATTERN CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY SINCE FEBRUARY.
FEBRUARY PRECIPITATION APPROACHED 200 PERCENT OF NORMAL OVER FAR
NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND SNOWFALL RANGED FROM 7 TO 14 INCHES ABOVE
NORMAL. MARCH SNOWFALL IS WELL ABOVE NORMAL AS WELL.

SOIL MOISTURE WAS WELL BELOW NORMAL DURING THE SUMMER AND EXTENDING
INTO THE FALL. SOME AREAS SOUTH OF I-80 HAVE EXPERIENCED A SLIGHT
RECHARGE IN SOIL MOISTURE IN THE UPPER SOIL PROFILE DURING JANUARY
AND FEBRUARY. HOWEVER...IN MANY LOCATIONS...RAIN HAS FALLEN OVER
FROZEN GROUND AND IT IS UNCLEAR HOW MUCH RAIN HAS INFILTRATED INTO
THE SOIL PROFILE AND HOW MUCH SOIL MOISTURE RECHARGE HAS OCCURRED.

FROST DEPTHS ACROSS NORTHERN ILLINOIS AS OF MARCH 7 WERE BETWEEN 6
AND 10 INCHES. THE RATE OF FROST MELT BENEATH THE SNOWPACK WILL BE A
KEY FACTOR IN DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF INFILTRATION AND SOIL
MOISTURE RECHARGE OR RUNOFF THAT OCCURS WITHIN THE COMING WEEKS.

...RIVER CONDITIONS...
STREAMFLOWS THIS PAST SUMMER FELL TO NEAR RECORD LOWS AS A RESULT OF
THE DROUGHT. RAINFALL DURING JANUARY AND FEBRUARY RESULTED IN
INCREASED STREAMFLOW ON AREA RIVERS. MANY LOCATIONS WERE
EXPERIENCING STEADY OR SLOWLY FALLING WATER LEVELS IN RECENT DAYS.
IN ADDITION...WATER LEVELS WERE WELL BELOW FLOOD STAGE AT MOST RIVER
FORECAST LOCATIONS.

NWS CHICAGO RIVER ICE SPOTTERS REPORTED THAT MOST ICE WAS OUT ON THE
KANKAKEE RIVER. SOME REMAINING ICE WAS REPORTED ON THE UPPER REACHES
OF THE FOX RIVER AND PORTIONS OF THE ROCK RIVER. ALTHOUGH THE THREAT
HAS DIMINISHED SINCE THE LAST OUTLOOK...ICE JAMS REMAIN A
POSSIBILITY AS FLOWS INCREASE AND ANY REMAINING ICE BEGINS TO BREAK
UP AND MOVE DOWNSTREAM.

...WEATHER OUTLOOKS...
THE SIX TO 10 DAY OUTLOOK VALID MARCH 12 TO 16 INDICATES
HIGHER CHANCES FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES...AND EQUAL CHANCES FOR
ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION. THE LONG RANGE OUTLOOK THROUGH
MAY INDICATES ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION.

 Tabular Probabilities

IN TABLE 1 BELOW...THE CURRENT (CS) AND HISTORICAL (HS) OR NORMAL
PROBABILITIES OF EXCEEDING MINOR...MODERATE...AND MAJOR FLOOD STAGES
ARE LISTED FOR THE VALID TIME PERIOD.

CS VALUES INDICATE THE PROBABILITY OF REACHING A FLOOD CATEGORY
BASED ON CURRENT CONDITIONS.

HS VALUES INDICATE THE PROBABILITY OF REACHING A FLOOD CATEGORY
BASED ON HISTORICAL OR NORMAL CONDITIONS.

WHEN THE VALUE OF CS IS MORE THAN HS...THE PROBABILITY OF
EXCEEDING THAT LEVEL IS HIGHER THAN NORMAL. WHEN THE VALUE OF CS IS
LESS THAN HS...THE PROBABILITY OF EXCEEDING THAT LEVEL IS LOWER
THAN NORMAL.

...TABLE 1--PROBABILITIES FOR MINOR...MODERATE AND MAJOR FLOODING...
VALID PERIOD:  3/11/2013 - 6/9/2013
 
:    CURRENT AND HISTORICAL
:     CHANCES OF EXCEEDING
:       FLOOD CATEGORIES
:      AS A PERCENTAGE (%)
CATEGORICAL      :
FLOOD STAGES (FT)   :   MINOR    MODERATE   MAJOR
LOCATION           MINOR   MOD   MAJOR :  CS   HS   CS   HS   CS   HS
--------           -----  -----  ----- : ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---
:HART DITCH
DYER                12.0   13.0   14.0 :  <5   <5   <5   <5   <5   <5
:THORN CREEK
THORNTON            10.0   15.0   16.0 :  19   24   <5   <5   <5   <5
:LITTLE CALUMET RIVER
MUNSTER             12.0   14.0   17.0 :  37   42   16   18   <5   <5
SOUTH HOLLAND       16.5   18.0   20.0 :  <5   <5   <5   <5   <5   <5
:KANKAKEE RIVER
DUNNS BRIDGE        10.0   12.0   13.0 :  <5   27   <5   <5   <5   <5
KOUTS               11.0   13.0   14.0 :  <5   27   <5   <5   <5   <5
SHELBY               9.0   11.0   12.5 :  70   80    9   36   <5    9
MOMENCE              5.0    6.5    9.0 :  18   27    9   11   <5   <5
:IROQUOIS RIVER
RENSSELAER          12.0   14.0   15.0 :  29   34    6    6   <5    6
FORESMAN            18.0   22.0   24.0 :  24   19   <5   <5   <5   <5
IROQUOIS            18.0   24.0   25.0 :  60   57   <5    6   <5   <5
:SUGAR CREEK
MILFORD             18.0   22.0   26.0 :  75   68   14   14   <5   <5
:IROQUOIS RIVER
CHEBANSE            16.0   18.0   20.0 :  13   14   <5    6   <5   <5
:KANKAKEE RIVER
WILMINGTON           6.5    8.0   10.0 :  16   16   <5    6   <5   <5
:DES PLAINES RIVER
RUSSELL              7.0    9.0   10.0 :  86   62   <5   <5   <5   <5
GURNEE               7.0    9.0   11.0 :  50   27    6    6   <5   <5
LINCOLNSHIRE        12.5   14.0   15.5 :  26   16    6    6   <5   <5
DES PLAINES          5.0    8.0    9.0 :  26   18   <5   <5   <5   <5
RIVERSIDE            7.0    8.0    9.0 :  27   19   <5    6   <5   <5
LEMONT              10.0   11.0   12.0 :  54   39   21   13   <5   <5
:W BR DU PAGE RIVER
WARRENVILLE         11.5   14.5   17.5 :  14   16   <5   <5   <5   <5
:EAST BRANCH DU PAGE RIVER
BOLINGBROOK         19.5   21.0   23.0 :  41   41    8    8   <5   <5
:DU PAGE RIVER
SHOREWOOD            6.5    8.0   10.0 :  11   14   <5   <5   <5   <5
:MAZON RIVER
COAL CITY           12.0   14.0   17.0 :  11   16   <5   <5   <5   <5
:FOX RIVER
ALGONQUIN TAILWAT    9.5   10.5   12.0 :  77   57   44   34   18   14
MONTGOMERY          13.0   14.0   15.0 :  57   44   11    9   <5   <5
DAYTON              12.0   14.0   24.0 :  44   44   11   13   <5   <5
:VERMILION RIVER
PONTIAC             14.0   15.0   18.0 :  14   18    8   11   <5   <5
LEONORE             16.0   21.0   26.0 :  37   39    6   11   <5   <5
:PECATONICA RIVER
SHIRLAND            12.0   14.0   15.5 :  50   34    8   13   <5   <5
:ROCK RIVER
ROCKTON             10.0   11.0   14.0 :  62   27   37   19    6   <5
LATHAM PARK         10.0   11.0   14.0 :  50   24   34   14   <5   <5
ROCKFORD             9.0   10.0   11.0 :  <5   <5   <5   <5   <5   <5
:KISHWAUKEE RIVER
BELVIDERE            9.0   10.0   12.0 :  19   13   <5    8   <5    6
:SOUTH BRANCH KISHWAUKEE RIVER
DE KALB             10.0   11.0   12.5 :   8    6   <5   <5   <5   <5
:KISHWAUKEE RIVER
PERRYVILLE          12.0   18.0   22.0 :  72   32   <5   <5   <5   <5
:ROCK RIVER
BYRON               13.0   14.0   16.0 :  37   21    6    8   <5   <5
DIXON               16.0   18.0   20.0 :  18   14   <5   11   <5   <5
:NORTH BRANCH CHICAGO RIVER
CHICAGO ALBANY AV    7.0    7.5    8.0 :  <5   <5   <5   <5   <5   <5
:ILLINOIS RIVER
MORRIS              16.0   18.0   22.0 :  37   39   14   19   <5   <5
OTTAWA             463.0  466.0  469.0 :  31   31   11   11   <5   <5
LA SALLE            20.0   27.0   31.0 :  75   67   11   13   <5   <5
 
LEGEND
CS = CONDITIONAL SIMULATION (CURRENT OUTLOOK)
HS = HISTORICAL SIMULATION
FT = FEET
 
IN TABLE 2 BELOW...THE 95 THROUGH 5 PERCENT COLUMNS INDICATE THE
PROBABILITY OF EXCEEDING THE LISTED STAGE LEVELS (FT) FOR THE VALID
TIME PERIOD.
 
...TABLE 2--EXCEEDANCE PROBABILITIES...
 
CHANCE OF EXCEEDING STAGES
AT SPECIFIC LOCATIONS
VALID PERIOD: 3/11/2013 - 6/9/2013
LOCATION              95%    90%    75%    50%    25%    10%     5%
--------            ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
:HART DITCH
DYER                  3.8    3.9    4.7    5.6    6.7    7.7    8.2
:THORN CREEK
THORNTON              5.3    5.5    6.5    7.8    9.4   11.1   11.7
:LITTLE CALUMET RIVER
MUNSTER               9.5    9.8   10.4   11.3   12.5   14.6   15.4
SOUTH HOLLAND        10.0   10.3   11.2   12.4   13.9   14.7   14.7
:KANKAKEE RIVER
DUNNS BRIDGE          6.6    6.8    7.5    8.2    9.0    9.7   10.0
KOUTS                 7.8    8.1    8.8    9.4   10.2   10.8   11.2
SHELBY                8.0    8.3    8.9    9.9   10.5   11.2   13.8
MOMENCE               3.1    3.2    3.5    4.3    4.7    6.5    7.6
:IROQUOIS RIVER
RENSSELAER            8.9    9.2    9.9   11.3   12.3   13.6   17.1
FORESMAN             13.5   13.9   14.8   16.4   18.1   18.9   19.9
IROQUOIS             14.9   15.2   16.6   18.9   22.5   23.1   23.4
:SUGAR CREEK
MILFORD              14.3   15.2   18.0   19.0   20.9   23.1   24.4
:IROQUOIS RIVER
CHEBANSE              9.2    9.4   10.6   12.5   15.1   16.5   19.8
:KANKAKEE RIVER
WILMINGTON            3.7    3.9    4.4    5.3    5.8    6.8    8.1
:DES PLAINES RIVER
RUSSELL               6.6    6.7    7.2    7.5    7.8    8.1    9.0
GURNEE                5.2    5.6    6.1    7.1    7.7    8.6    9.5
LINCOLNSHIRE          9.6   10.0   10.6   11.7   12.6   13.8   14.8
DES PLAINES           1.9    2.2    2.7    3.9    5.3    7.4    7.5
RIVERSIDE             5.1    5.1    5.8    6.4    7.2    7.7    8.3
LEMONT                8.6    8.8    9.5   10.1   10.9   11.5   11.9
:W BR DU PAGE RIVER
WARRENVILLE           9.5    9.6   10.1   10.6   11.0   11.7   11.9
:EAST BRANCH DU PAGE RIVER
BOLINGBROOK          18.1   18.3   18.9   19.4   20.0   20.7   21.3
:DU PAGE RIVER
SHOREWOOD             3.9    4.1    4.8    5.3    6.0    6.8    7.1
:MAZON RIVER
COAL CITY             4.1    5.4    7.4    9.5   11.1   13.2   13.6
:FOX RIVER
ALGONQUIN TAILWAT     8.9    9.0    9.6   10.2   11.4   13.4   13.9
MONTGOMERY           12.5   12.6   12.8   13.1   13.5   14.1   14.1
DAYTON                8.9    9.2   10.2   11.9   12.7   14.7   15.6
:VERMILION RIVER
PONTIAC               6.5    6.8    7.5    9.9   12.7   14.8   17.8
LEONORE              10.7   10.9   11.8   14.3   17.7   20.5   22.4
:PECATONICA RIVER
SHIRLAND              9.9   10.3   10.7   12.1   13.2   14.0   14.5
:ROCK RIVER
ROCKTON               8.4    8.6    9.5   10.5   12.2   13.5   15.2
LATHAM PARK           8.3    8.4    9.1   10.1   11.5   12.8   14.2
ROCKFORD              3.7    3.7    3.9    4.4    5.3    6.3    7.7
:KISHWAUKEE RIVER
BELVIDERE             5.1    5.8    6.4    7.7    8.6    9.7   12.5
:SOUTH BRANCH KISHWAUKEE RIVER
DE KALB               4.9    5.5    6.1    7.0    8.6    9.7   10.4
:KISHWAUKEE RIVER
PERRYVILLE           10.1   10.8   11.6   12.8   13.8   14.6   17.8
:ROCK RIVER
BYRON                10.0   10.4   11.3   12.3   13.6   15.9   16.3
DIXON                11.7   12.0   12.8   13.9   15.7   16.9   17.7
:NORTH BRANCH CHICAGO RIVER
CHICAGO ALBANY AV     3.2    3.6    4.3    5.0    5.6    6.5    6.9
:ILLINOIS RIVER
MORRIS                9.4    9.9   11.7   14.7   17.1   20.2   21.4
OTTAWA              459.4  459.5  460.6  461.9  463.4  466.9  468.8
LA SALLE             17.0   18.6   20.3   23.4   25.0   27.9   29.7
 
IN TABLE 3 BELOW...THE 95 THROUGH 5 PERCENT COLUMNS INDICATE THE
PROBABILITY OF FALLING BELOW THE LISTED STAGE LEVELS (FT) FOR THE
VALID TIME PERIOD.
 
...TABLE 3--NONEXCEEDANCE PROBABILITIES...
 
CHANCE OF FALLING BELOW STAGES
AT SPECIFIC LOCATIONS
VALID PERIOD: 3/11/2013 - 6/9/2013
LOCATION              95%    90%    75%    50%    25%    10%     5%
--------            ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
:HART DITCH
DYER                  2.0    1.9    1.9    1.8    1.7    1.7    1.7
:THORN CREEK
THORNTON              3.0    2.9    2.9    2.9    2.8    2.8    2.8
:LITTLE CALUMET RIVER
MUNSTER               5.4    5.4    5.3    5.2    5.1    5.0    5.0
SOUTH HOLLAND         5.5    5.4    5.3    5.2    5.1    5.0    5.0
:KANKAKEE RIVER
DUNNS BRIDGE          3.9    3.8    3.5    3.2    3.0    2.7    2.4
KOUTS                 5.0    4.9    4.7    4.4    4.1    3.8    3.5
SHELBY                5.7    5.5    5.2    4.8    4.5    4.1    3.8
MOMENCE               2.0    1.9    1.8    1.7    1.5    1.4    1.3
:IROQUOIS RIVER
RENSSELAER            4.6    4.4    4.3    4.1    3.8    3.7    3.5
FORESMAN              7.5    7.1    6.8    6.3    5.8    5.7    5.2
IROQUOIS              7.0    6.5    6.2    5.7    5.3    5.1    4.6
:SUGAR CREEK
MILFORD               4.2    3.9    3.7    3.6    3.4    3.1    3.0
:IROQUOIS RIVER
CHEBANSE              4.3    4.2    3.9    3.6    3.4    3.2    2.8
:KANKAKEE RIVER
WILMINGTON            1.9    1.7    1.6    1.5    1.3    1.1    1.0
:DES PLAINES RIVER
RUSSELL               3.2    3.2    2.9    2.8    2.7    2.6    2.5
GURNEE                2.5    2.5    2.1    2.0    1.8    1.6    1.5
LINCOLNSHIRE          7.3    7.2    6.9    6.7    6.6    6.3    6.2
DES PLAINES           1.2    1.2    1.1    1.0    0.9    0.8    0.8
RIVERSIDE             2.6    2.5    2.4    2.2    2.0    1.9    1.9
LEMONT                6.1    6.0    5.7    5.5    5.2    5.0    5.0
:W BR DU PAGE RIVER
WARRENVILLE           7.8    7.8    7.7    7.6    7.6    7.5    7.4
:EAST BRANCH DU PAGE RIVER
BOLINGBROOK          15.1   15.0   14.9   14.8   14.7   14.7   14.7
:DU PAGE RIVER
SHOREWOOD             2.4    2.4    2.3    2.3    2.2    2.1    2.1
:MAZON RIVER
COAL CITY             2.1    2.0    1.8    1.4    1.1    0.5    0.5
:FOX RIVER
ALGONQUIN TAILWAT     6.4    6.1    5.5    5.2    4.9    4.6    4.5
MONTGOMERY           11.6   11.5   11.4   11.2   11.1   11.0   11.0
DAYTON                6.9    6.7    6.3    6.0    5.6    5.4    5.3
:VERMILION RIVER
PONTIAC               3.5    3.5    3.4    3.3    3.1    2.9    2.7
LEONORE               4.6    4.6    4.4    4.2    3.8    3.6    3.3
:PECATONICA RIVER
SHIRLAND              6.5    6.3    6.0    5.5    4.9    4.6    4.5
:ROCK RIVER
ROCKTON               4.9    4.7    4.4    3.7    3.4    3.2    3.1
LATHAM PARK           5.3    5.2    5.0    4.4    4.2    4.0    3.9
ROCKFORD              3.1    3.0    3.0    2.7    2.6    2.5    2.5
:KISHWAUKEE RIVER
BELVIDERE             2.1    2.0    1.8    1.7    1.6    1.4    1.4
:SOUTH BRANCH KISHWAUKEE RIVER
DE KALB               3.3    3.2    3.1    3.1    3.0    2.8    2.8
:KISHWAUKEE RIVER
PERRYVILLE            6.6    6.4    6.2    6.1    5.9    5.8    5.7
:ROCK RIVER
BYRON                 7.3    7.0    6.7    6.1    5.7    5.5    5.4
DIXON                 9.5    9.2    9.1    8.6    8.2    8.0    8.0
:NORTH BRANCH CHICAGO RIVER
CHICAGO ALBANY AV     1.6    1.5    1.4    1.3    1.1    1.0    1.0
:ILLINOIS RIVER
MORRIS                5.5    5.4    5.2    5.1    4.9    4.6    4.6
OTTAWA              458.7  458.7  458.6  458.6  458.5  458.5  458.5
LA SALLE             11.9   11.8   11.5   11.3   11.0   10.8   10.7
 

 



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