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Central California struck by two rare tornadoes as storms pound the state

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Two rare tornadoes touched down in Central California over the weekend, as storms pummeled the state with extreme weather conditions. The first tornado hit Kings County on Saturday afternoon, followed by a second tornado in Madera County less than 24 hours later.

The tornado in Kings County touched down in the south end of Corcoran around 4:37 p.m., according to meteorologist Carlos Molina from the National Weather Service’s Hanford office. The tornado then moved eastward before dissipating near U.S. Route 99. This event marked the second tornado to hit Central California in as many days.

The tornado in Madera County occurred near an elementary school, prompting students to seek shelter in the cafeteria. This rare occurrence of two tornadoes in such close succession took meteorologists by surprise, with Molina noting that the conditions were ideal for tornado formation due to moisture from a winter storm.

Typically, Central California only sees one or two tornadoes between March and April. The back-to-back tornadoes over the weekend were an unusual and unprecedented event for the region. This phenomenon comes less than a month after two tornadoes struck San Luis Obispo County, with winds reaching up to 95 mph.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the state, a powerful blizzard pounded the Sierra Nevada mountains, with gusts of up to 190 mph and nearly 2 feet of snow reported in some areas. The extreme weather forced a 75-mile stretch of Interstate 80 to close and ski resorts to shut down due to hazardous conditions.

Overall, the weekend’s weather events highlighted the unpredictable nature of California’s climate and the importance of staying informed and prepared for severe weather. Though rare, tornadoes can occur in the state, especially during periods of unusual weather patterns. It’s essential for residents to be aware of potential risks and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

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As the state continues to face volatile weather conditions, it is crucial for communities to stay vigilant and follow guidelines from local authorities and meteorological services. By staying informed and prepared, Californians can mitigate the impact of extreme weather events and stay safe during times of uncertainty.

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NASA is Developing an Electrodynamic Shield to Address Lunar and Martian Dust Challenges

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NASA is tirelessly working on addressing the challenges posed by dust on the Moon and Mars. The lunar surface is covered in regolith, a jagged and abrasive material that can cause damage to equipment and pose health risks to astronauts. Additionally, dust accumulation on surfaces like solar panels can lead to decreased power output, creating further complications for manned missions to Mars.

To combat these issues, NASA has developed an innovative solution in the form of an Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS). This shield utilizes transparent electrodes and electric fields to electrically remove dust from surfaces, inspired by a concept developed by NASA in 1967. The technology has been in development since 2004 and is currently being tested by researchers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The EDS has shown promising results in vacuum chamber tests simulating the space environment, with lunar regolith samples used for testing. The material was successfully ejected from surfaces within seconds, demonstrating the shield’s efficacy in removing dust. Additionally, EDS materials have been embedded on glass panels, test spacesuit fabrics, and even camera lenses onboard the International Space Station and lunar landers.

Dr. Charles Buhler, lead scientist on the project, emphasized the importance of protecting equipment and habitats from dust exposure on lunar missions. The abrasive nature of lunar dust, coupled with its ability to compromise seals and hatches, makes it a significant concern for future missions. The EDS technology shows great promise in mitigating these risks and ensuring the safety of astronauts and machinery on dusty worlds.

Check Out Also:  Astronomers Create Detailed 3D Map of Cosmic Dust Spanning Thousands of Light-Years

As NASA continues to advance the development of the Electrodynamic Dust Shield, future missions will further test its capabilities in real-world environments. The technology holds great potential in safeguarding against the challenges posed by dust and ensuring the success of manned missions to the Moon and Mars.

For more information on NASA’s groundbreaking technology to combat lunar dust, visit the official NASA website at NASA Technology Helps Guard Against Lunar Dust.

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