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Regional Climatic Variations In India

While the main climate trend of India is similar, there are some noticeable regional differences.


In India, even during the same season, there is considerable variance in temperature across areas.

For instance, on a summer day in the Rajasthan desert, the temperature may reach 50°C, whereas, in certain parts of Jammu and Kashmir, the temperature may reach about 20°C. There is also a difference in temperature between day and night in certain areas.


Precipitation amounts and seasonal distributions are very variable.

For example, yearly precipitation varies significantly between Meghalaya and Ladakh and Western Rajasthan, reaching from over 400 cm in Meghalaya to less than 10 cm in Ladakh and Western Rajasthan.

Similarly, although the majority of the nation receives rainfall between June and September, the Tamil Nadu coast receives the majority of its rainfall between October and November.

Climatic Controls

Permanent elements that affect character of the climate in any place on earth are referred to as Climatic Control Factors.

Climate control factors include the following:

  1. Altitude : It is a reference to the elevation above mean sea level. As one increases above the Earth’s surface, the temperature drops and the air gets less thick. As a result, hilly areas are cooler in the summer.
  2. Latitude : Latitude is the angular distance of a place from the equator in the north-south direction. The quantity of solar energy received changes with latitude due to the curvature of the Earth. As a consequence, the temperature of the air drops as one travels from the equator to the poles.
  3. Pressure and Wind system : It is determined by the latitude and altitude of a location. It has an effect on the area’s temperature and rainfall patterns.
  4. Continentality or Distance from the Sea : The sea has a regulating effect on the climate. As one moves farther away from the sea, the weather conditions grow more violent. This is referred to as continentality. Seasonal temperature and rainfall variations are extreme.
  5. Relief Features : High mountains obstruct the flow of cold or hot winds to a location. Additionally, it may result in rain or snow if the location is on the windward side of the mountains. Mountains on the leeward side are relatively dry.

Ocean Currents : Along with onshore winds, warm or cold ocean currents influence the climate of coastal locations. For instance, coastal locations benefit from the cooling effect of cold onshore currents.

Factors Affecting India’s Climate

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Mountains in northern India average over 6000 metres in height, but coastal regions and islands have a maximum elevation of around 30 metres.

Winters in the Indian subcontinent are warmer than those in Central Asia, due to the Himalayas, which block cold winds from entering the subcontinent.


The tropic of Cancer (23°30′ N) separates the nation into two zones: the tropical zone (to the south of this line) and the subtropical zone (to the north of this line) (North of this line). The line goes from Rann of Kachchh (west) to Mizoram (east), covering both tropical and subtropical regions in India.

Pressure And Winds

India’s climate and associated weather conditions are governed by the following atmospheric conditions.

  • Upper Air Circulation
  • Pressure and Surface Winds
  • Western Cyclonic Disturbances and Tropical Cyclones

Upper-Air Circulation : The Indian subcontinent’s upper air circulation is dominated by a westerly flow influenced by jet streams. These jet streams are referred to as subtropical westerly jet streams due to their position above 27°-30° N latitude. They blow south of the Himalayas all year save during the summer.

Pressure And Surface Winds : India is located in the area characterised by north-easterly surface winds. These winds originate and blow over land throughout the winter from the Northern hemisphere’s subtropical high-pressure zone.

These winds blow south, are redirected to the right by the Coriolis force, and make their way to the equatorial-low pressure region. Summer brings with it a low-pressure system that forms across Inner Asia and North-Western India as a result of the hot temperatures.

Air from the Southern Indian Ocean’s high-pressure zones blows over the equator and swings right into this low-pressure region, completely reversing the wind direction.

They carry extremely little moisture and hence bring no or very little rain. (During the winter, high pressure zones form north of the Himalayas. This results in chilly, dry winds blowing from the region southward toward low-pressure areas over the oceans.

These winds collect a great deal of moisture and deliver extensive rainfall on the mainland of North Carolina. These winds are referred to as the South-West Monsoon.

Western Cyclonic Disturbances And Tropical Cyclones : Western cyclonic disturbances are winter weather events brought in by the westerly flow from the Mediterranean. They typically have an effect on the weather in India’s north and north-western areas.

Tropical cyclones form throughout the monsoon season, as well as between October and November, and are a component of the easterly flow. These disturbances mostly impact the country’s coastal areas.

Summer brings a change in the subtropical westerly jet stream north of the Himalayas, due to the apparent moving of the sun. During the summer month, an easterly stream, named the subtropical easterly jet stream, blows across peninsular India at about 14° N.

The Indian Monsoon

Monsoon winds have a big impact on the climate in India. The monsoons happen in the tropical area that is about 20° N and 20° S. When you hear the word “monsoon,” it comes from the Arabic word “mausim,” which means “season.” ‘Monsoon’ refers to the change in wind direction during the year.

Mechanism Of Monsoon

To understand how the monsoons work, you need to know the following things about how they work.

  1. The difference in temperature and humidity between land and water causes low pressure on the land of India, while the seas around it are under a lot of pressure.
  2. When it’s hot outside, the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) moves over the Ganga plain in the summer time. Normally, this is where the equator is about 5° north of the equator. If you live in a place that gets a lot of rain, this is called the “monsoon trough.”
  3. This shows that there is a high-pressure area, east of Madagascar, that is about 20°S over the Indian Ocean. When this high-pressure area is strong and moves where it is, it affects the Indian monsoon.
  4. During the summer, the Tibetan plateau gets very hot. These strong air currents and the formation of low pressure over the plateau at a height of about 9 km above sea level are caused by this.
  5. There is a difference in pressure between Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean, 18°S/l 49°W, and Darwin in the Indian Ocean, 12°30’S/13 f”E. This difference is used to figure out how strong the monsoons will be.
  6. In this case, if the pressure differences were negative, it would mean that the monsoons would be below average and come late.

Monsoon And The Southern Oscillation

There are other things that can change pressure over the Southern Oceans that can affect the monksoons, too. As high pressure builds up in the tropical Eastern South Pacific Ocean, low pressure builds up in the tropical Western Pacific Ocean and the tropical Eastern Indian Ocean But in the last few years, there has been a change in the pressure conditions.

The Eastern Pacific has less pressure than the Eastern Indian Ocean. Changes in pressure are called the Southern Oscillation because they happen every few months (SO).

El Nino Southern Oscillations (Enso)

The Southern Oscillation has a feature called the EL Nino phenomenon that is linked to it. People on the Peruvian coast now see a warm ocean current instead of the cold Peruvian current, which used to pass by.

There are two to five of them every two to five years. The changes in pressure are linked to the EL Nino. ENSO is the name given to the phenomenon because of this (EL Nino Southern Oscillations)

The Onset And Withdrawal Of The Monsoon

The monsoon winds move in a rhythmic way. People in many parts of India aren’t sure what will happen because of them, like floods and drought. When the monsoon comes, the rain starts to fall quickly. It goes on for a long time. People call this type of thing the “Burst of monsoon.”

It isn’t like pre-monsoon rains. There are wet and dry spells that come and go after that. The intensity, frequency, and length of each of these changes.

Onset Of Monsoon

First week of June is when the monsoon usually reaches the southern tip of the peninsula, but it can happen at any time of the year That’s when it splits into two parts: the Arabian Sea branch and the Bay of Bengal branch, which move very quickly,

By June 10, the Arabian Sea branch moves north along the Western Ghats. It soon covers the Saurashtra-Kutch and the central part of the Deccan Plateau as well.

People in Assam get a rainy surprise when the branch from the Bay of Bengal comes to them in the first week of June. The branch gets deflected to the west by mountains, giving rain to the Ganga plains.

There are two more branches that come together in the North-West part of the Ganga plains, where they meet again. By the end of June, the rain from the Bay of Bengal branch comes to Delhi. By the first week of July, the monsoon spreads to Western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Eastern Rajasthan.

Withdrawal Of Monsoon

Early in September, the monsoon starts to leave the North-Western states. It leaves the northern half of the peninsula by the middle of October. As time goes on, the Southern half of the peninsula is getting a lot of people out of it. By early December, the monsoon has moved on from the rest of the country and is no longer there.

Onset And Withdrawal Of Monsoon In The Indian Islands

This time of year, the islands get the first monsoon rains. They get them from the last week of April to the first week of May. It moves from North to South (backwards) from the first week of December to the first week of January. At this point, the rest of the country has already been hit by the winter monsoon.

The Seasons : The Hot Weather Season

The hot weather season begins in March with the apparent northward movement of the sun and lasts until the end of May.

Features Of Hot Weather Season

  • By the end of May, an extended low-pressure area forms in the region, stretching from the Thar Desert in the north to Patna and the Chotanagpur plateau in the east and south. This begins air circulation around the trough.
  • Northern India’s temperature rises as the air pressure decreases.
  • Dust storms are very frequent in May in North India. They provide temporary relief from the heat by decreasing the temperature and may also result in light rain and a chill in the air.
  • During this season, a hot, windy, and demanding wind called locally as Loo blows over northern and northwestern India.
  • During the summer, isolated thunderstorms with strong winds and perhaps hail also occur. In West Bengal, these thunderstorms are called Kaal Baisakhi.
  • Near the ending of summer, pre-monsoon rains may occur. In Kerala and Karnataka, they are referred to as Mango Showers, since they assist in the early ripening of the mango fruit.

Temperature Variation During Hot Weather

The changing of the heat belt’s effect may be observed in temperature records collected from March to May at various latitudes. In March, the maximum temperature recorded in the Deccan Plateau is about 38°C.

In April, the temperature in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh is about 42°C. In May, portions of the country’s northwestern region experience temperatures of about 45°C. Peninsular India’s temperature stays lower due to the ocean’s moderating effect.

The Cold Weather Season

  1. The cold weather season in Northern India starts in mid-November and lasts until February, with December and January being the coldest months.
  2. From south to north, the temperature falls. For example, the average temperature in Chennai, on the Eastern coast, is between 24°-25°C, whereas it varies between 10°-15°C in the Northern plains. Throughout this season. Frost occurs in the Northern plains, whereas snow falls in the Himalayan highlands.
  3. Due to the North-East trade winds blowing during this time period, the majority of the nation stays dry except for a few isolated areas. Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh are receiving moisture from the Bay of Bengal due to the winds.

Features Of Cold Weather Season

The weather during this time is characterised by a clear sky, low temperature and humidity, and mild changeable winds.

There is an intake of cyclonic disturbances from the west and north, originating over the Mediterranean Sea and Western Asia. They bring winter rains known as Mahawat (which are beneficial for rabi crops) to the plains and snowfall to the mountains.

The peninsular area benefits from the sea’s moderating influence, and therefore lacks well-defined cold seasons. Additionally, there is no noticeable variation in the temperature pattern.

Advancing Monsoon (The Rainy Season)

  1. By mid-June, the low pressure system over the Northern plains becomes more intense, attracting the trade winds. These trade winds originate over the Southern Hemisphere’s warm tropical oceans.
  2. After crossing the equator, these winds move in a south-westerly direction, bringing the South-West monsoon to the Indian peninsula. They traverse the whole subcontinent save for the far northwestern reaches in little over a month.
  3. The region receiving the most rainfall as a result of these winds is North-Eastern India (mostly Meghalaya and Assam) and the windward side of the Western Ghats (Thiruvananthapuram to Mumbai), since these winds carry ample moisture to the subcontinent at a speed of 30 kilometres per hour.

Rainfall In Western Ghats And Deccan Plateau

Monsoon winds blow over the nation in about a month. Windward of the Western Ghats gets very high rainfall, reaching 250 cm in the early season. While the rain shadow area receives the most rainfall, the Deccan plateau regions of Madhya Pradesh also get some rainfall.

Distribution Of Rainfall

Annual rainfall in areas of the western coast and north-eastern India exceeds 400 cm. However, in Western Rajasthan and nearby regions of Gujarat, Haryana, and Punjab, it is less than 60 cm.

Rainfall is similarly low in the Deccan Plateau interior and east of the Sahyadris. A third region of low precipitation is located in the Jammu and Kashmir district of Leh. Mawsynram, situated in Meghalaya’s Khasi highlands, gets the world’s greatest average rainfall.

Features Of Advancing Monsoon

  1. Wet and Dry Spells: Monsoon does not provide constant rains to India. It has rainy and dry periods, or ‘breaks’ in the rain. These monsoon breaks are caused by the migration of the monsoon trough.
  2. Monsoon Trough: The trough and its axis continue to move northward and southward in order to create periodic rainfall breaks. When the trough’s axis passes across the plains, the area receives abundant rainfall. The Himalayan region receives extensive rain as the axis moves northward, serving as the catchment basin for many rivers.

Tropical Depression: Tropical depressions have a big impact on how much and how long the monsoon lasts. It starts at the head of the Bay of Bengal and crosses over to the land on the other side of the bay. In this case, these depressions follow the path of the “monsoon through low pressure.”

Features Of Retreating Monsoon

A clear sky and an increase in temperature define this time period.

The daily temperatures are high, while the evenings are nice and cold.

Cyclonic Depression And Tropical Cyclone

  1. By early November, cyclonic depressions over the Andaman sea had formed. Tropical cyclones form along the Bangladesh-Tamil Nadu coastline as a result of low-pressure conditions being moved to the Bay of Bengal.
  2. These cyclones typically track along India’s eastern coast, pouring rainfall. Frequently, they cause problems. Sometimes, these cyclones make landfall on the Odisha, West Bengal, and Bangladesh coastlines.
  3. These cyclones often make landfall in the Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri deltas.

Retreating/Post Monsoon Season (The Transition Season )

  1. When the sun begins to move southward in October and November, the low-pressure trough over the Northern plains gradually gives way to a high-pressure system. This is followed by the monsoon winds from the southwest.
  2. By the beginning of October, the monsoon has departed the Northern plain, and by the end of November, dry winter conditions dominate.

Monsoon As A Unifying Bond

  1. Northern India has much warmer temperatures than other regions of the world at a comparable latitude, due to the Himalayas sheltering it from the chilling Central Asian winds.
  2. The Peninsular plateau has mild temperatures as a result of the sea’s impact on three sides. The monsoon connects the land by establishing a rhythmic seasonal cycle.
  3. The vegetation, animal life, and agricultural operations are all changing in response to the monsoon’s impacts. The people’s way of life, their festival celebrations, and other activities are all oriented around the monsoon since India is still mainly an agricultural country.
  4. The monsoon supplies the necessary water to kick-start agricultural operations, and therefore its arrival is anxiously expected. Additionally, the river valleys that carry this water merge into a single river valley unit.

NCERT Solutions For Class 9 Social Science (Geography) Chapter 4 CLIMATE

Question 1.

Choose the correct answer from the four alternatives given below.

(i) Which one of the following places receives the highest rainfall in the world?

(a) Silchar

(b) Mawsynram

(c) Cherrapunji

(d) Guwahati

Ans: (b) Mawsynram

Mawsynram is a town in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district, 60.9 kilometres from the state capital Shillong. Mawsynram receives the most precipitation in all of India.

(ii) The wind blowing in the northern plains in summers is known as:

(a) Kaal Baisakhi

(b) Loo

(c) TVade Winds

(d) None of the above

Ans: (b) Loo

The Loo is a strong, dusty, gusty, hot, and dry summer wind from the west that blows across North India and Pakistan’s Indo-Gangetic Plain. It is pretty powerful in May and June. Due to the extremely high temperatures, exposure frequently results in fatal heatstrokes.

(iii) Which one of the following causes rainfall during winters in north-western part of India,

(a) Cyclonic depression

(b) Retreating monsoon

(c) Western disturbances

(d) Southwest monsoon

Ans: (c) Western disturbances

A western disturbance is an extratropical storm that originates in the Mediterranean region and brings heavy winter rain to the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent, extending as far east as northern Bangladesh and southern Nepal.

(iv) Monsoon arrives in India approximately in:

(a) Early May

(b) Early July

(c) Early June

(d) Early August

Ans: (c) Early June

(v) Which one of the following characterises the cold weather season in India?

(a) Warm days and warm nights

(b) Warm days and cold nights

(c) Cool days and cold nights

(d) Cold days and warm nights


(c) Cool days and cold nights

Question 2.

Answer the following questions briefly.

(i) What are the factors affecting the climate of India?

Ans: India’s climate is influenced by the following factors: latitude, altitude, and rainfall; winds and pressure (jet streams); and latitude, which is a measure of how far away from the sea you are. Also, mountains or relief.

(ii) Why does India have a monsoon type of climate?

Ans: India has a monsoon climate as a result of the monsoon winds’ enormous influence across the subcontinent. Summer monsoons bring a lot of rain when they blow from the sea to the land. Winter monsoon winds blow from the continent’s heart to the sea, bringing little rain with them. The seasonal reversal of the ‘Monsoon’ wind system occurs.

(iii) Which part of India does experience the highest diurnal range of temperature and why?

Ans: During the day, the Thar desert experiences the most extreme temperature swings. This is because the temperature reaches over 50°C during the day and drops to less than 15°C at night due to the lack of sunlight and vegetation.

(iv) Which winds account for rainfall along the Malabar Coast?

Ans: The Arabian Sea summer monsoons are a subset of the South West summer monsoons..

(v) What are jet streams and how do they affect the climate of India?

Ans: Jet streams are a narrow band of westerly winds at a high altitude in the troposphere (over 12,000 m). They travel at a speed of around 110 kilometres per hour in the summer and over 184 kilometres per hour in the winter. There are several jet streams, but the most consistent are the mid-latitude and subtropical jet streams. Between 27° and 30° north latitude, subtropical westerly jet streams exist. Throughout the year, except in the summer, these jet streams flow south of the Himalayas.

These are to blame for the country’s north and northwestern regions being hit by western cyclonic disturbances. These jet streams migrate north of the Himalayas in accordance with the apparent migration of the sun.

During the summers, an easterly jet stream known as the subtropical easterly jet stream sweeps through peninsular India at approximately 14°N.

(vi) Define monsoons. What do you understand by “break” in monsoon?

Ans: The term “monsoon” is derived from the Arabic word “mausim,” which literally translates as “season.” Throughout this season, winds blow from land to sea for six months and from sea to land for six months. The term “break in monsoon rainfall” refers to periods of relative dryness during which monsoon rain falls for only a few days at a time. These breaks are caused by the migration of the monsoon trough.

When the axis of the monsoon trough passes through the plains, rainfall is increased. As the trough travels into the Himalayas, the lowlands remain dry, but heavy rain falls on the slopes.

(vii) Why is the monsoon considered a unifying bond?

Ans: Despite the moderating effect of other variables, the Indian subcontinent experiences a wide variety of temperatures. Monsoons have a uniting effect due to the fact that the rainfall they bring affects the entire country. Thus, water is made available for agricultural purposes as well as river use throughout the country. The monsoons bind the continent together, and everyone anticipates their arrival.

Question 3.

Why does the rainfall decrease from the east to the west in Northern India?

Answer: In India’s northwest, a low-pressure area attracts the South West Monsoon winds. After dumping moisture in south India, the Bay of Bengal branch of the South West Monsoons affects the Khasi – Garo Hills. Due to the presence of the Himalayan mountains, these winds veer westward after dumping significant amounts of rain on windward slopes.

These winds then continue to deposit rain as they ascend the Ganga valley and reach the low-pressure area. As the winds in Northern India shift from east to west, the amount of rain deposited decreases, as this is the final region to be affected by the monsoons.

Question 4.

Give reasons as to why:

(i) Seasonal reversal of wind direction takes place over the Indian subcontinent?

Ans: Because land and water have different densities, the rate of heating and cooling varies. On three sides, the Indian subcontinent is surrounded by water. India’s land mass is warmer than the surrounding sea in the summer, resulting in low pressure. Due to the sea’s cooler temperature, it has a higher pressure. As a result, the winds are directed away from the sea and toward the land.

In the winter, the land has a high pressure, whereas the water has a low pressure. As a result, the winds are blowing in the direction of the sea. As a result, the direction of the wind varies seasonally.

(ii) The bulk of rainfall in India is concentrated over a few months.

Ans: In India, the majority of the rain falls over a few months. The monsoon wind, which blows when there is intense low pressure on the land, is the main source of rainfall. The water in the area is chilly and has a lot of pressure. This perfect temperature and pressure is reached in May, when the rainy season begins in June and lasts until September (high pressure). The rest of the year is almost completely dry.

(iii) The Tamil Nadu coast receives winter rainfall winds.

Ans: During the winter season, the north east monsoon blows from land to sea, bringing rain to the Tamil Nadu coast. They do not produce rain in the northern part of the country. However, as they pass through the Bay of Bengal, they pick up moisture and precipitation along south India’s eastern coast, particularly in Tamil Nadu.

(iv) The delta region of the eastern coast is frequently struck by cyclones.

Ans: Cyclones frequently strike the eastern coast’s delta region in early November, as low-pressure systems in northwestern India are pushed into the Bay of Bengal. This shift results in the formation of cyclonic depressions over the Andaman Sea. These then cross the eastern shore, discharging torrential rain and wreaking havoc on property.

(v) Parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and the leeward side of the Western Ghats are drought-prone.

Ans: In India, relief/mountains have a significant influence on how rainfall is distributed. Severe rain is caused by moisture-laden winds (South West Monsoons) on the windward slopes of the Western Ghats and Khasi-Garo hills. As the winds shift to the leeward slopes, rainfall decreases because the majority of it has been deposited on the slope facing the winds. Due to a lack of rain, the entire leeward side of the island is prone to drought. Rajasthan is also in the rain shadow of the Aravalli Hills.

Question 5.

Describe the regional variations in the climatic conditions of India with the help of suitable examples.

Answer: India’s climatic conditions (most notably temperature and rainfall) vary significantly by region. Summer temperatures in some parts of Rajasthan exceed 50°C, while they hover around 20°C in Jammu & Kashmir. Drass’s winter temperature drops to -45°C, while Thiruvananthapuram’s is 22°C.

Meghalaya receives rainfall ranging from more than 400 cm in the north to less than 10 cm in Ladakh and western Rajasthan. India receives the majority of its precipitation as rain, but the mountains receive snowfall. The majority of the country receives rain between June and September. In parts of Tamil Nadu, rain falls between November and December. The climate along the coast is mild, whereas the climate inland is harsh or continental.

Question 6.

Discuss the mechanism of monsoons.

Answer: The following facts are crucial to comprehending the monsoon’s mechanism.

  • The rate at which terrestrial and aquatic bodies heat and cool.
  • The land has a low pressure in the summer, while the water has a high pressure.
  • In the summer, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone moves over the Northern Plains (it is normally located around 5°N of the Equator).
  • The Indian Monsoons are influenced by the presence of a high-pressure area east of Madagascar and by the intense summer heating of the Tibetan plateau, which results in low pressure.
  • The westerly and easterly jet streams cross the Indian peninsula during the summer.

Question 7.

Give an account of weather conditions and characteristics of the cold season.

Answer: During the cold season, the skies are clear, the temperatures and humidity are low, and the winds are light and variable.

The temperature is higher in the south due to the cooling effect of the sea, but drops to between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius as one travels north. Frost is prevalent in the north, while snowfall is common at higher elevations in the Himalayas. Winds blow from land to sea and are typically dry, except when they absorb moisture from the Bay of Bengal and bring rain to Tamil Nadu.

The cold weather season is defined by the low-pressure system that penetrates northwest India from the Mediterranean Sea. These storms, also known as temperate or westerly depression cyclones, are responsible for the winter rain and snowfall in the hills and mountains. Rain aids in the growth of ‘Rabi’ crops.

Question 8.

Give the characteristics and effects of the monsoon rainfall in India.

Answer: Monsoon rain has a number of characteristics that set it apart from other types of rain.

  • (a) Monsoon winds are unreliable due to their unpredictable arrival and departure times.
  • (b) Rainfall is unevenly distributed. Rainfall is abundant in some areas (the windward slopes of the Western Ghats) and sparse in others (the Thar Desert), resulting in floods and droughts.
  • (c) The monsoon season lasts three months (June–September), with the remainder of the year being mostly dry.
  • (d) A seasonal wind reversal occurs.

Monsoon rains are significant in India, and their effect is visible when they arrive. People throughout the country eagerly await its arrival. Farmers are prepared to sow their seeds, signalling the start of agricultural activities. Water is supplied to rivers, which transport it to various parts of the country. With the arrival of the monsoons, plants and animals rejuvenate. The supply of water via rivers is critical for power generation.

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