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Jet Streams

What are Jet Streams?

Jet streams are long swaths of intense wind that blow from west to east throughout the world. They have an impact on weather, air transport, and many other aspects of our environment.

How Do Jet Streams Affect Weather?

A jet stream's fast-moving air currents can move weather systems across the US, impacting temperature and precipitation. A weather system that is far from a jet stream, on the other hand, may stay in one place, bringing heat waves or floods.

The four major jet streams on Earth only flow from west to east. Earth has four primary jet streams: two polar jet streams, near the north and south poles, and two subtropical jet streams closer to the equator.

As a result, storms and other weather phenomena are often moved from west to east. Other jet streams can flow in different ways, creating bulges of winds to the north and south.

When were the Jet Streams Discovered?

Wasaburo Ooishi, a Japanese meteorologist, was the first to discover jet streams in the 1920s.

He tracked upper-level winds high over Mount Fuji with weather balloons. However, it wasn't until 1939 that a German meteorologist coined the phrase "jet stream" in a research paper.

Where are Jet Streams Located?

Jet streams are located about five to nine miles above Earth’s surface in the mid to upper troposphere — the layer of Earth’s atmosphere where we live and breathe.

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