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 However, this week does have some differences including a jet stream that is further south. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Millions under tornado watches in areas still recovering from last week's storms," 20 Apr. 2020 Some experts believe that rapid warming in the Arctic is causing the jet stream to become wavier over time. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Persistent Cloudless Skies Helped Fuel Exceptional Greenland Ice Melt," 16 Apr. 2020 Although this wasn’t an El Niño year, the subtropical jet stream behaved more like an El Niño, feeding moisture into the U.S. Southeast, which experienced an unusually wet winter punctuated with severe weather and a caravan of tornadoes. Los Angeles Times, "Among the ‘climate monsters’ that afflict California, Megadrought is the most reliable," 16 Apr. 2020 The jet stream is powered by temperature differences between the cooler Arctic region and warmer air masses to the south. NBC News, "What happened to winter? Jet stream science explains unseasonable warmth in U.S.," 13 Feb. 2020 Eventually, that jet stream is expected to move back south, perhaps as soon as January, Gehring said. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Procrastinators will have a nice weekend to finish their holiday shopping," 20 Dec. 2019 Without going too far down the weather rabbit hole, strong high pressure off the West Coast and a wavy jet stream are combining to steer repeated blasts of cold, Arctic air into the same region. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Denver could set its coldest October temperature on record this week," 28 Oct. 2019 This causes the jet stream to sink south in eastern North America and cold air to infiltrate the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "The pattern ahead is known for big East Coast snowstorms, including the D.C. area — sometimes," 22 Feb. 2018 Any severe storm may tap into the 100 mph low-level jet stream aloft and bring those gusts down to the ground. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Millions of Americans under threat of severe weather," 10 Jan. 2020

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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Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jet stream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on jet stream

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jet stream Encyclopedia article about jet stream

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