Jet Stream

  • 1) In the Northern Hemisphere the jet stream is sought by eastbound aircraft, in order to gain speed and save fuel, and avoided by westbound aircraft.
  • 2) Instead of moving along a straight line, the jet stream flows in a wavelike fashion; the waves propagate eastward (in the Northern Hemisphere) at speeds considerably slower than the wind speed itself.
  • 3) Jet stream, narrow, swift currents or tubes of air found at heights ranging from 7 to 8 mi (11.3–12.9 km) above the surface of the earth.
  • 4) They are caused by great temperature differences between adjacent air masses. There are four major jet streams.
  • 5) Since the progress of an airplane is aided or impeded depending on whether tail winds or head winds are encountered.
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