What makes Klystron 9 different?
Bay News 9 Senior News Director Mike Gautreau said that although our old radar was top-notch, the Klystron 9 is a huge advance. For a start, Klystron 9 is unique in that it's a combination of dual-pol technology and the Klystron tube.
"There's no other dual pol and Klystron radar out there," Gautreau said.
Another way our new technology helps provide the most accurate weather forecasts is through the power of its 1.25 million watt transmitter. Klystron 9's enormous power gives it a tremendous range, up to 300 miles, although the earth's curvature means the radar's best effective range is about 150 miles.
But Clay said that if a storm is big enough - that is, tall enough in the atmosphere - Klystron 9 can see farther than 150 miles.
Yet another advantage to the Klystron tube is its ability to always be on. Clay said that magnetron tubes can burn out if left on too long, but the Klystron tube can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week without harm.
The Klystron 9 also has pulse compression, which maximizes the sensitivity and resolution of radars.
And there's another aspect of Klystron 9 that gives our meteorologists an incredibly accurate view of Tampa Bay weather.
"We also have a new ground clutter suppression system that has never been used before," Clay said. "The system removes anything that doesn't move, so buildings, trees, etc. don't show on the radar."
The new ground clutter suppression system also reduces radar reflection that's not precipitation.
This table explains the difference between the Klystron 9, our former radar and the National Weather Services' radar in Ruskin.