Jet Streams Essay

465 words - 2 pages

Jet streams are relatively narrow corridors or very strong winds within the atmosphere. The most prominent jet stream is located directly above the polar front in the upper troposphere between the mid-latitude and the polar troposphere. Because of its close association with the polar front this jet stream is known as the polar front jet stream (Williams).The polar jet stream is not well defined around the globe. However where surface temperature gradients are steep, where the polar front is well defined, jet stream winds are stronger. These segments of strong winds are known as jet streak. The strongest jet ...view middle of the document...

Because of earths rotation the streams flow west to east in both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere due to the Coriolis effect. The Coriolis effect is deflection of a moving object in a rotating frame of reference (Jet).The location of the jet stream is extremely important data for airlines. In the United States and Canada, for example, the time needed to fly east across the continent can be decreased by about 30 minutes if an airplane can fly with the jet stream, or increased by about the same amount if it must fly west against it. On international flights, the difference is even greater, and it is often actually faster and cheaper flying eastbound along the jet stream rather than taking the shorter great circle route between two points (Williams).Meteorologists now understand that the path of the jet stream steer cyclonic storm systems at lower levels in the atmosphere. Knowledge of their course has become an important part of weather forecasting. Jet streams also play an important part in the creation of super cells, the storm systems which create tornados (Haby). Jet streams are an important factor in how we travel and what our weather is like.Works Cited:Haby, Jeff. April 2004. Jet Streak Wind and Jet Streak Movement. Jet Streams. 2003. University of Illinois.Williams, Jack. 2004. USA Today. Jet Stream Roars Along High Above Earth.

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