Top 10 Apps for Real-Time Weather Alerts and Preparedness

In an age where weather patterns are increasingly erratic and unpredictable, staying informed and prepared is more critical than ever. Fortunately, advancements in technology have made it easier to access real-time weather alerts and preparedness resources right at our fingertips. From severe storms to natural disasters, these top 10 apps offer valuable features to keep you ahead of the weather curve and ensure your safety and preparedness.

Top weather apps for iPhone and Android offering real-time radar
Top weather apps for iPhone and Android offering real-time radar

Table of Contents

1. NOAA Weather Alerts:  Your Official Go-To for Hyper-Local Safety Alerts

NOAA Weather Alerts, the official app from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), stands out as a must-have tool for anyone seeking reliable and hyper-localized weather warnings. But what makes it stand out from the crowd? Let’s delve deeper:

Key Features:

  • Hyper-localized alerts: Unlike some generic weather apps, NOAA Weather Alerts leverages your precise location to deliver real-time warnings for specific hazards relevant to your area.This includes tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, winter storms, extreme heat, and more. No more worrying about irrelevant alerts while your neighbor faces imminent danger.
  • SAME technology: This sophisticated system ensures alerts reach the right people at the right time by considering geographical boundaries and potential impact. Say goodbye to blanket warnings that create unnecessary panic.
  • Interactive radar: Visualize approaching storms and track their movement with high-resolution, interactive radar images. Overlay different layers like precipitation types, wind speed, and storm tracks for a comprehensive understanding of the situation.
  • Customizable watchlists: Create personalized watchlists for specific locations or types of hazards you want to be notified about. This allows you to prioritize alerts that matter most to you and your loved ones.
  • Authoritative source: Trust matters when it comes to weather warnings. Being developed and maintained by NOAA, the official U.S. agency for weather information, ensures the app delivers accurate and dependable alerts.
  • Free and ad-free: Get peace of mind without breaking the bank. NOAA Weather Alerts is completely free to download and use, with no subscription fees or intrusive ads to distract you during critical moments.

Case Study: Imagine Mary living in a flood-prone area. During a heavy rainstorm, she receives a push notification from NOAA Weather Alerts about a flash flood warning specific to her neighborhood. This immediate and localized alert allows her to take preventative measures like moving valuables to higher ground or seeking shelter, potentially saving her property and ensuring her safety.

Beyond the Features:

The value of NOAA Weather Alerts extends beyond its technical aspects. By using this app, you not only safeguard yourself and your loved ones but also empower yourself to be a more weather-aware individual. Regularly checking the app fosters a culture of preparedness, prompting conversations about potential threats and encouraging proactive steps to mitigate risks.

Ready to Download?

Head to the App Store or Google Play Store and search for “NOAA Weather Alerts.” Install the app, grant location permissions, and personalize your watchlists. Remember, every second counts in an emergency, so ensure you have the right tools readily available. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and prioritize your safety with NOAA Weather Alerts!

2. AccuWeather: Your Hyper-Accurate Ally for Minute-by-Minute Visibility

AccuWeather, a powerhouse in the weather app world, goes beyond basic forecasts. It delivers minute-by-minute insights and hyper-precise details, empowering you to plan your day with confidence and navigate weather changes with agility. Let’s explore why AccuWeather deserves a prominent spot on your smartphone:

Key Features:

  • MinuteCast®: This proprietary technology provides hyper-localized, minute-by-minute precipitation forecasts for the next four hours. Know exactly when the rain will start and stop, down to the minute, allowing you to plan outdoor activities, errands, or commutes effectively.
  • Superior Accuracy: AccuWeather boasts a globally recognized track record for accurate forecasts, utilizing advanced weather models and a vast network of data sources. Whether you’re planning a weekend trip or preparing for a potential storm, their forecasts offer reliable guidance.
  • Long-range Outlooks: Look beyond the next few hours with extended forecasts stretching up to 45 days. Gain insights into potential trends and prepare for upcoming weather patterns, helpful for travel planning, outdoor projects, and general awareness.
  • Air Quality and Pollen Levels: Stay informed about environmental conditions affecting your health and well-being. View real-time air quality index and pollen count details, making informed decisions about outdoor activities, especially for allergy sufferers or those with respiratory concerns.
  • RealFeel® Technology: This unique feature goes beyond temperature to consider humidity, wind, and sun intensity, providing a more accurate sense of how the weather actually feels. Avoid underestimating the chill factor or the sweltering impact of high humidity.
  • Customizable Alerts: Set up personalized alerts for specific weather conditions, like temperature thresholds, precipitation types, or wind speeds. Receive timely notifications so you can stay prepared and adapt your plans as needed.

Case Study: Picture John, an avid runner, checking AccuWeather before his morning jog. The app’s MinuteCast® predicts a brief rain shower within the next 30 minutes. Using this hyper-localized information, John decides to grab his rain jacket and adjust his route slightly, ensuring a comfortable and uninterrupted run despite the passing shower.

Beyond the Features:

AccuWeather extends its value by offering engaging and informative visuals. Their animated radar and satellite images bring weather patterns to life, making complex data easily understandable. Additionally, news articles and expert insights within the app provide deeper context and help you interpret forecasts with confidence.

Ready to Download?

Find AccuWeather on the App Store or Google Play Store. Customize your settings, set alerts, and experience the difference of hyper-accurate, detailed weather information. Remember, knowledge is power, and AccuWeather equips you with the tools to make informed decisions and confidently navigate any weather scenario.

3. Weather Underground: Unleash the Power of Crowdsourced Weather Insight

Want to go beyond traditional forecasts and tap into the wisdom of the crowd? Look no further than Weather Underground, a weather app that leverages real-time observations from a global network of passionate weather enthusiasts. Here’s what makes it unique:

Key Features:

  • Community-Sourced Data: Access hyper-local weather conditions reported by individuals in your area. See what your neighbors are experiencing with temperature, precipitation, wind, and more, gaining insights beyond automated forecasts.
  • Interactive Weather Map: Explore a dynamic map overlaid with real-time weather data from personal weather stations. Zoom in to your neighborhood and see conditions unfolding as they happen, offering valuable situational awareness.
  • Historical Data: Analyze past weather patterns for your specific location using extensive historical data archives. Identify trends, anticipate potential future events, and make informed decisions about outdoor activities or seasonal preparations.
  • Severe Weather Alerts: Receive timely and customizable alerts for severe weather events like tornadoes, floods, and blizzards. Choose specific alerts relevant to your area and preferences, ensuring you stay informed about potential dangers.
  • Detailed Satellite & Radar Imagery: View high-resolution satellite images and animated radar loops to visualize weather systems and track their movement. Gain a deeper understanding of evolving weather patterns and potential impacts.
  • Active Community: Engage with a vibrant community of weather enthusiasts through forums and discussions. Share observations, ask questions, and learn from fellow weather geeks, enriching your understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

Case Study: Imagine Sarah planning a camping trip in a remote area. Beyond relying on general forecasts, she utilizes Weather Underground to access real-time reports from fellow campers in the vicinity. The community-sourced data provides valuable insights into current conditions, allowing Sarah to adjust her packing list, choose the ideal campsite, and feel more prepared for potential weather changes.

Beyond the Features:

Weather Underground goes beyond mere functionality. It fosters a sense of community and shared passion for weather. By contributing observations and engaging in discussions, users actively participate in creating a more comprehensive and accurate picture of weather conditions. This collaborative spirit fosters a deeper connection with the natural world and empowers individuals to become weather-aware citizens.

Ready to Join the Community?

Download Weather Underground on the App Store or Google Play Store. Contribute your observations, explore the interactive map, and connect with fellow weather enthusiasts. Remember, together, you can build a powerful network of real-time weather information, enhancing your preparedness and appreciation for the ever-changing world around

4. Disaster Alert: Your Comprehensive Companion for Emergency Readiness

Disaster Alert empowers you to face any storm, literally and figuratively, by uniting critical alerts and resources from diverse agencies under one convenient app. More than just weather warnings, it equips you with the knowledge and tools to prepare, respond, and recover from a wide range of emergencies.

Key Features:

  • Consolidated Alerts: Receive real-time notifications from various government agencies like the National Weather Service (NWS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Red Cross. Be instantly informed about floods, wildfires, tornados, earthquakes, and other hazards directly relevant to your location.
  • Multiple Hazard Support: Go beyond traditional weather concerns. Stay informed about technological emergencies, pandemics, and public health crises, ensuring you receive timely warnings and critical instructions tailored to specific situations.
  • Customization Options: Personalize your experience by selecting specific agencies and hazard types you want to receive alerts for. This allows you to focus on information most relevant to your needs and location.
  • Disaster Preparedness Guides: Access a wealth of resources and information on various disasters, including preparedness checklists, survival tips, and evacuation procedures. Be informed and empowered to take proactive steps before an emergency strikes.
  • Shelter Finder: During critical events, quickly locate the nearest emergency shelters or evacuation centers using the integrated finder tool. This critical feature helps you seek refuge and ensure your safety in the face of immediate danger.
  • Recovery Resources: After a disaster, find essential support and assistance through readily available information on government programs, disaster relief organizations, and community resources. Rebuild and recover with informed guidance and access to necessary support systems.

Case Study: Imagine Mark living in a hurricane-prone region. He uses Disaster Alert to receive real-time updates from the NWS and local authorities, allowing him to stay ahead of the storm and proactively prepare his home. When the hurricane hits, he utilizes the shelter finder to locate the nearest safe haven. After the storm passes, he accesses recovery resources to navigate insurance claims and rebuilding efforts. Disaster Alert serves as his one-stop shop for crucial information throughout the entire disaster cycle.

Beyond the Features:

Disaster Alert transcends its functionality by promoting a culture of preparedness. By providing accessible information and resources, it encourages individuals and communities to be proactive in mitigating risks and building resilience. The app empowers informed decision-making, reduces panic during emergencies, and fosters a collaborative approach to disaster response and recovery.

Ready to Download?

Get Disaster Alert on the App Store or Google Play Store. Choose your personalized settings, explore resources, and be prepared to face any challenge. Remember, knowledge is power, and Disaster Alert equips you with the tools to navigate emergencies with confidence, ensuring your safety and the well-being of your loved ones.

5. The Weather Channel: Beyond Forecasts, a Journey Through Weather’s Story

The Weather Channel app isn’t just your average weather forecast provider. It’s a storyteller, a weather enthusiast’s haven, and a comprehensive resource for understanding the fascinating world of meteorology. Dive deeper with us to discover what makes this app stand out:

Key Features:

  • Live Streaming Video Updates: Witness weather unfold in real-time with live streams from meteorologists on location. Get insights beyond forecasts, understanding the context and potential impact of weather events as they happen.
  • Local News Integration: Stay informed about weather-related local news stories and updates, ensuring you have a complete picture of how weather is affecting your community and surrounding areas.
  • Extensive Video Library: Dive deep into the world of weather with a vast library of engaging videos. Explore documentaries, weather phenomena explanations, and educational content to truly appreciate the science behind the forecasts.
  • Personalized Weather Summaries: Receive concise and tailored summaries of daily weather conditions based on your location and interests. No more sifting through mountains of data; get the information you need at a glance.
  • Interactive Radar & Satellite Imagery: Explore high-resolution radar and satellite images, enabling you to track storm systems, visualize precipitation patterns, and gain a deeper understanding of weather developments.
  • Advanced Forecasting Tools: Utilize specialized forecasting tools like pollen counts, air quality index, and UV index to make informed decisions about outdoor activities and potential health concerns.

Case Study: Picture Sarah, an aspiring meteorologist. She uses The Weather Channel app to access live streams from hurricane coverage, gaining valuable insights into storm behavior and the work of on-site professionals. Beyond forecasts, she explores the extensive video library, immersing herself in documentaries about weather history and climate change. This app fuels her passion and equips her with knowledge beyond basic predictions.

Beyond the Features:

The Weather Channel app transcends mere functionality by fostering a connection with the natural world. Engaging videos, live updates, and interactive features bring weather to life, allowing users to appreciate its complexities and dynamics. This fosters not just preparedness, but also a sense of wonder and fascination for the ever-changing skies above.

Ready to Experience the Weather Story?

Download The Weather Channel app on the App Store or Google Play Store. Personalize your experience, tap into live updates, and explore the fascinating world of weather. Remember, this app is more than just a forecast; it’s a journey of discovery and appreciation for the forces that shape our planet.

6. WeatherMate: Your Customizable Compass for Navigating Daily Weather Whims

WeatherMate steps beyond generic forecasts to deliver a personalized weather experience tailored to your unique needs and lifestyle. With its intuitive interface and customizable features, it becomes your trusty companion, helping you stay informed, prepared, and comfortable amidst ever-changing conditions.

Key Features:

  • Widget Customization: Choose from a variety of widgets displaying specific weather information directly on your home screen. Keep an eye on the temperature, precipitation chances, or pollen count without even opening the app.
  • Allergy and Pollen Forecasts: Breathe easy with detailed allergy forecasts and pollen count updates. Plan your outdoor activities around your sensitivities and minimize discomfort caused by seasonal allergens.
  • Air Quality Index: Stay informed about real-time air quality conditions in your area.Make informed decisions about outdoor exercise or air filtration needs, especially for individuals with respiratory concerns.
  • Lightning & Severe Weather Alerts: Receive timely notifications for lightning strikes and severe weather specific to your location. Be prepared to seek shelter or take necessary precautions during potential hazards.
  • Sunrise & Sunset Timers: Never miss a breathtaking sunrise or a vibrant sunset with automatic notifications about sunrise and sunset times. Plan your photography outings or evening walks with precise timing information.
  • Global Weather Tracking: Travel with confidence by tracking weather conditions in multiple locations around the world. Stay informed about potential disruptions at your destination and pack accordingly.

Case Study: Imagine John, an allergy sufferer and outdoor enthusiast. He uses WeatherMate’s pollen forecasts to plan his runs, choosing low-pollen days for more comfortable exercise. He also sets up air quality notifications to avoid strenuous activities on high-pollution days. By catering to his specific needs, WeatherMate empowers him to enjoy the outdoors while prioritizing his health.

Beyond the Features:

WeatherMate fosters a proactive approach to weather awareness. By providing diverse data points and customizable features, it encourages users to understand how weather impacts their daily lives and make informed decisions. This promotes personal well-being, fosters outdoor enjoyment, and empowers individuals to adapt to their environment.

Ready to Personalize Your Weather Experience?

Download WeatherMate on the App Store or Google Play Store. Choose your preferred widgets, set up relevant alerts, and embark on a personalized journey through the ever-changing world of weather. Remember, WeatherMate is more than just a forecast; it’s your guide to navigating the whims of nature with confidence and comfort.

7. Storm Radar: See the Storm Unfold, Be the Eye of Your Safety

Storm Radar isn’t just another weather app. It’s a visual powerhouse, a storm tracker extraordinaire, and your ultimate ally in understanding and preparing for approaching weather systems. Immerse yourself in high-resolution visuals and gain invaluable insights before the first raindrop falls.

Key Features:

  • High-Resolution Radar Imagery: Witness storms evolve in stunning detail with next-level radar images. Zoom in on your location, analyze precipitation types, and track storm movement with unparalleled clarity.
  • Future Radar Animations: See the bigger picture with animated forecasts for the next six hours. Predict the storm’s trajectory, anticipate precipitation intensity, and make informed decisions well in advance.
  • Customizable Overlays: Tailor the information you see by adding different overlays for wind speed, temperature, lightning strikes, and even tropical storm tracks. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the storm’s potential impact.
  • Hyper-Localized Alerts: Receive timely notifications specific to your location, warning you about heavy rain, hail, or potential flooding. Be prepared to take shelter or adjust your plans based on real-time threats.
  • Multiple Layers Support: View radar data from multiple sources, providing a broader perspective on the storm’s development and ensuring you have access to the most up-to-date information.
  • Simple and Intuitive Interface: Navigate the app easily, even in stressful situations. Clear visuals and intuitive design allow you to quickly find the information you need, maximizing your situational awareness.

Case Study: Picture Mary, living in a tornado-prone area. A storm approaches, and she opens Storm Radar. The high-resolution imagery reveals the storm’s rotation and potential intensity. Using future radar animations, she sees the projected path and prepares her family accordingly. Timely alerts for hail and high winds prompt her to secure outdoor furniture and seek shelter. By visualizing and understanding the storm, Mary empowers herself and her loved ones to prioritize safety.

Beyond the Features:

Storm Radar transcends mere functionality by transforming fear into preparedness. Visualizing the storm empowers users to make informed decisions based on real-time data, reducing panic and fostering proactive action. This promotes a sense of control and confidence in navigating even the most challenging weather events.

Ready to See the Storm Before It Sees You?

Download Storm Radar on the App Store or Google Play Store. Unlock the power of visual weather tracking and take control of your safety. Remember, knowledge is power, and Storm Radar equips you with the tools to understand, anticipate, and weather any storm that comes your way.

8. WeatherBug: Your Hyperlocal Hero for Lightning, Air, and Traffic Awareness

WeatherBug goes beyond standard forecasts, transforming into your personalized guardian against unseen weather threats. It delves deeper, providing real-time lightning alerts, comprehensive air quality insights, and live traffic updates, empowering you to navigate your world with informed confidence.

Key Features:

  • Real-Time Lightning Alerts: Get instant notifications for lightning strikes within a 20-mile radius, ensuring you and your loved ones stay safe outdoors. No more guessing about potential danger; receive immediate alerts and seek shelter when lightning approaches.
  • Air Quality Index & Pollen Count: Breathe easy with detailed air quality data and pollen count updates. Make informed decisions about outdoor activities, especially for allergy sufferers or individuals with respiratory concerns.
  • Live Traffic Cameras & Conditions: Avoid congestion and road closures with real-time traffic camera views and condition updates. Plan your commute efficiently, adjust your route based on weather-related delays, and arrive at your destination on time.
  • Hyper-Local Weather Warnings: Receive precise and timely alerts for severe weather events specific to your location. Stay informed about flash floods, high winds, or winter storms, allowing you to take necessary precautions and prioritize safety.
  • Extensive Weather Data: Access a wealth of information beyond forecasts, including humidity, UV index, and sunrise/sunset times. Gain a comprehensive understanding of weather conditions and make informed decisions for your comfort and well-being.
  • Community-Sourced Observations: Contribute to the community by reporting live weather observations and see conditions reported by others near you. Foster a collaborative approach to weather awareness and gain valuable insights beyond automated data.

Case Study: Imagine Lisa, an asthmatic runner, planning her morning jog. She checks WeatherBug and sees high pollen count and moderate air quality. Opting for a less pollen-rich route based on this information, she enjoys her run without respiratory discomfort. Later, live traffic updates alert her about an accident on her usual commute, allowing her to adjust her route and avoid delays. WeatherBug empowers Lisa to navigate her day with informed choices, prioritizing her health and well-being in various weather scenarios.

Beyond the Features:

WeatherBug fosters a culture of proactive weather awareness. By providing hyper-local data and diverse features, it encourages users to understand their environment and make informed decisions about their activities. This promotes personal safety, optimizes time management, and fosters a sense of community through collaborative observation sharing.

Ready to Become a Weather-Wise Hero?

Download WeatherBug on the App Store or Google Play Store. Unlock the power of hyper-local weather insights and navigate your world with confidence. Remember, WeatherBug is more than just an app; it’s your personalized guardian, empowering you to make informed choices and thrive in any weather condition.

9. MyRadar: Your Eye in the Sky, Tracking Rain in Stunning Detail

MyRadar isn’t just another weather app. It’s a visual masterpiece, a rain tracker extraordinaire, and your ultimate companion for understanding and predicting precipitation patterns. Immerse yourself in high-resolution, animated radar imagery and gain invaluable insights before the first drop falls.

Key Features:

  • Stunning High-Resolution Radar: Witness rain unfold in breathtaking detail with cutting-edge radar images. Zoom in on your location, identify precipitation types (rain, snow, mixed), and track storm movement with unparalleled clarity.
  • Future Radar Animations: See the bigger picture with smooth, captivating animations predicting rain intensity and movement for the next two hours. Anticipate downpours, dry spells, and storm activity, allowing you to plan your day with confidence.
  • Customizable Alerts: Never get caught in the rain again! Set hyper-localized alerts for specific precipitation intensities, ensuring you receive timely notifications before the downpour starts.
  • Multi-Radar Overlay: Gain a broader perspective by viewing radar data from multiple sources. Compare different perspectives and ensure you have the most accurate picture of the precipitation situation.
  • Historical Radar: Analyze past rain patterns with easily accessible historical radar data. Identify trends, anticipate potential future events, and make informed decisions for outdoor activities.
  • Simple and Intuitive Interface: Navigate the app effortlessly, even with one hand. Clear visuals and user-friendly design allow you to quickly find the information you need, maximizing your situational awareness.

Case Study: Picture John, an avid hiker planning a weekend camping trip. He checks MyRadar and sees a faint green blob moving towards his campsite in two hours. Using future radar animations, he determines it’s a light rain shower expected to pass quickly. Based on this information, he decides to pack a light raincoat but skips additional rain gear, optimizing his packing and enjoying the hike without unnecessary weight.

Beyond the Features:

MyRadar transcends mere functionality by transforming uncertainty into proactive planning. Visualizing rain in detail empowers users to make informed decisions based on real-time data, reducing stress and fostering a sense of control over their outdoor activities. This promotes a deeper connection with the natural world and encourages enjoying the outdoors with confidence, even when rain is in the forecast.

Ready to See Rain Before It Sees You?

Download MyRadar on the App Store or Google Play Store. Unlock the power of visual rain tracking and plan your days with confidence. Remember, knowledge is power, and MyRadar equips you with the tools to understand, anticipate, and enjoy any weather conditions with a smile.

10. Life360: Beyond Location Sharing, Your Circle’s Safety Hub

Life360 goes beyond a simple location-sharing app. It transforms into your comprehensive safety net, a digital guardian for your loved ones, and a hub for fostering connection and peace of mind. Dive deeper into how Life360 empowers you and your circle:

Key Features:

  • Real-Time Location Sharing: See your loved ones’ locations instantly on a map, ensuring you know where they are and feel connected throughout the day. This is especially helpful for children, elderly individuals, or those traveling alone.
  • Driving History and Crash Detection: Monitor driving habits with detailed insights on speed, braking, and route history. Receive automatic crash detection alerts and connect directly to emergency services if needed, providing crucial assistance in unforeseen situations.
  • Place Alerts: Get notified when your loved ones arrive or leave predefined locations, like school, home, or work. Gain peace of mind knowing they’ve reached their destination safely and receive alerts if they deviate from their usual routines.
  • SOS Button: Empower your loved ones to send immediate SOS alerts with their location in case of emergencies, accidents, or feeling unsafe. Receive instant notifications and take necessary actions to ensure their well-being.
  • Family Messaging: Stay connected with your circle through an integrated messaging platform. Share messages, photos, and updates, fostering communication and strengthening family bonds.
  • Safety Features for Everyone: Life360 caters to various needs. Create circles for families, roommates, friends, or even pets, ensuring everyone within your chosen group remains safe and connected.

Case Study: Imagine Sarah, a busy parent, dropping her teenage son off at football practice. With Life360, she receives a notification when he arrives at the field, offering peace of mind. Later, when her son accidentally sprains his ankle, he uses the SOS button, instantly alerting Sarah and sending his location. She can then quickly dispatch help and ensure her son receives medical attention.

Beyond the Features:

Life360 fosters a culture of proactive safety and connection. By providing real-time location sharing, emergency assistance, and communication tools, it empowers individuals to feel secure and connected, even when physically apart. This promotes trust, reduces anxiety, and strengthens family bonds, enriching daily lives with a sense of security and shared experience.

Ready to Expand Your Circle of Safety?

Download Life360 on the App Store or Google Play Store. Create your circles, activate safety features, and experience the peace of mind knowing your loved ones are always connected and protected. Remember, Life360 is more than just an app; it’s a community of care, ensuring you and your circle can truly thrive, knowing you’re never alone.

Final Thoughts

With the proliferation of weather-related risks and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, having access to real-time weather alerts and preparedness resources is indispensable. These top 10 apps offer valuable features to keep users informed, empowered, and prepared for whatever Mother Nature may bring. From customizable alerts to interactive radar maps, these apps enable users to stay ahead of the storm and prioritize their safety and well-being. Incorporating one or more of these apps into your preparedness toolkit can make a significant difference in navigating weather-related challenges with confidence and resilience.

Bonus Tip: Stay informed about local weather alerts and resources by following your city’s official social media channels or subscribing to community notification systems. This can provide hyper-localized updates and important instructions during emergencies.

Stay weather-aware, stay safe, and happy app-venturing!

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