jet stream definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- any of several bands of high-velocity winds moving from west to east around the earth at altitudes from c. 12 to 16 km (c. 8 to 10 mi)
- the stream of exhaust from any reaction enginealso jetstreamnoun
jet stream definition by American Heritage Dictionary
nounThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- A high-speed, meandering wind current, generally moving from a westerly direction at speeds often exceeding 400 kilometers (250 miles) per hour at altitudes of 10 to 15 kilometers (6 to 9 miles).
- A high-speed stream; a jet.
jet stream - Cultural Definition
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A narrow band of swiftly moving air found at very high altitudes.
- Movements of the jet stream have important (but generally short-lived) effects on weather patterns.
- Travel time in an airplane can be lengthened or shortened by the jet stream, depending on the direction of flight and the strength of the stream.
jet stream - Science Definition
A narrow current of strong wind circling the Earth from west to east at altitudes of about 11 to 13 km (7 to 8 mi) above sea level. There are usually four distinct jet streams, two each in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Jet stream wind speeds average 56 km (34 mi) per hour in the summer and 120 km (74 mi) in the winter. They are caused by significant differences in the temperatures of adjacent air masses. These differences occur where cold, polar air meets warmer, equatorial air, especially in the latitudes of the westerlies.
summer (top) and winter (bottom) jet streams across North America