jet stream


Definition of jet stream

: a long narrow meandering current of high-speed winds near the tropopause blowing from a generally westerly direction and often exceeding a speed of 250 miles (402 kilometers) per hour

Examples of jet stream in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Circling the region is a jet stream, a band of winds that blow west to east and provide a barrier of sorts between cold, arctic air and the warmer mid-latitudes. Drew Kann, CNN, "Texas' dangerous week in the dark is a wake-up call for the country's infrastructure," 20 Feb. 2021 The jet stream, for example, has become wobbly, allowing the polar vortex to dip its killer cold as far south as Texas in February of this year. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "How 1.5 Degrees Became the Key to Climate Progress," 21 Apr. 2021 La Niña, and its counterpart, El Niño, can play a significant role in the position of the jet stream, temperature and precipitation patterns over the US, which all play a role in the formation of severe weather. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Beautifully Boring - Quiet and Dry with Above Average Temperatures," 11 Mar. 2021 Then, when the jet stream buckles over the central US, that dense, cold air plows south. Philip Kiefer, Popular Science, "Explaining this week’s deadly US cold snap," 24 Feb. 2021 Some studies in recent years have suggested that Arctic warming could be connected to a wavier jet stream, which might allow these episodes where cold air plunges south to occur more frequently. Drew Kann, CNN, "Texas' dangerous week in the dark is a wake-up call for the country's infrastructure," 20 Feb. 2021 Throw in an active jet stream and things could get intense. Leigh Morgan, al, "Alabama’s spring tornado season could be a busy one, forecasters say," 5 Mar. 2021 Such late frosts are becoming more common because climate change is destabilizing the jet stream, leading it to dip much farther south, bringing bursts of unusually cold weather. Richard B. Primack, The Conversation, "January warm spells, March freezes: How plants manage the shift from winter to spring," 4 Mar. 2021 The two high pressure zones have pinned the jet stream in place, keeping the Great Plains in the bull’s eye. Philip Kiefer, Popular Science, "Explaining this week’s deadly US cold snap," 24 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jet stream.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of jet stream

1947, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of jet stream was in 1947

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Statistics for jet stream

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jet stream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for jet stream

jet stream


English Language Learners Definition of jet stream

technical : a strong current of fast winds high above the Earth's surface

jet stream


Kids Definition of jet stream

: high-speed winds blowing from a westerly direction several miles above the earth's surface

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