A jet stream is a narrow tube of air that moves more rapidly than the surrounding air in the upper levels of the atmosphere. The jet stream winds flow from west to east. Jet streams vary in height of four to eight miles and can reach speeds of more than 275 mph.
Polar and Subtropical Jets
The regions around 30° N/S and 50°-60° N/S are areas where temperature changes are the greatest. As the difference in temperature between the two locations increase, the strength of the wind increases. Therefore, the regions around 30° N/S and 50°-60° N/S are also regions where the wind, in the upper atmosphere, is the strongest.
The 50°-60° N/S region is where the polar jet is located with the subtropical jet located around 30°N.
- The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, The Handy Science Answer Book, 2nd ed., 1997, p. 110
- National Weather Service, JetStream - Online School for Weather
- The Jet Stream, National Weather Service, JetStream - Online School for Weather