TAMPA, Fla. – Here at Spectrum Bay News 9, we pride ourselves on our state-of-the-art radar technology – Klystron 9.
Most people know that weather radars detect rain in the area, but Klystron 9 can do much more than that.
So how does it work?
Klystron 9 can sample storms in three dimensions using double polarization of the radar pulses. Dual pol helps our meteorologists identify rain, hail, tornadoes and sometimes debris from tornadoes.
We saw this at the Kathleen tornado in Polk County, where that tornado had debris and the radar detected it, confirming to our meteorologists that there was a strong tornado on the ground causing damage.
The information Kylstron 9 collects can be life-saving, especially in the case of the Kathleen tornado that landed at night when it is difficult to spot a tornado.
Here are the five most important things to know about Klystron 9:
- In 2007, Klystron 9 was one of the first five dual pol radars in the United States. Dual Polarization Radar can view storms in three dimensions.
- It can deliver pulses up to 2000 times per minute when scanning for storms.
- In a week, the radar spends 2 hours transmitting; the rest spend on listening to return signals.
- 300 miles away from Klystron 9, the radar beam samples storms at 41,000 feet. The further away from the radar, the higher the radar beam. This is due to the curvature of the Earth and the 0.5 degree tilt of the radar. That’s why you know that when storms are seen 300 miles away on the radar, it is a towering storm for the radar to be able to taste it so far away.
- Klystron 9 doesn’t just see precipitation in a storm. It can also measure how fast precipitation is moving towards or away from the radar. This helps us detect rotation in thunderstorms that can sometimes produce tornadoes.