MOUNT UMUNHUM (KCBS) — A new high tech weather radar system is being rolled out in Silicon Valley that could more accurately predict which Bay Area communities will get wet.

The new X-band radar can predict precipitation more accurately than the old S-band radar station on Mount Umunhum.

Older radar system misses about half of the storms that blow into the Bay Area because they come in literally under the radar.  But the X-band station is much lower, mounted atop a local water treatment plant.

“We will be able to forecast rainfall say two to three hours ahead of time, so that we can actually run our models, our hydrologic models and predict where we’re going to be flooded,” Leon Lee, Deputy Operating Officer of Watersheds for the Santa Clara County Water District said.

The first X-band radar has already been activated, and four more units will be phased in over the next five years across the Bay Area.

The price tag of the new radar system is about 19-million dollars, paid for by a 2006 bond measure.

 

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