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

The jet stream, the river of strong high-altitude winds along which storms track, has persistently flowed from central Canada toward the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, from northwest to southeast. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Since March began, Washington has endured its windiest weather in many years," 20 Apr. 2018 Last October, a Turkish Airlines flight from Panama City to Istanbul flew 800 miles more than its normal route entailed, but still managed to arrive on time because of another ferocious jet stream. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Virgin Flight Reaches 801 MPH as Furious Jet Stream Propels Plane Faster Than Speed of Sound," 19 Feb. 2019 Overall, Saturn's atmosphere seems fairly static over time—even the surprising hexagon-shaped jet stream over the north pole has changed little, Cassini showed, since Voyager first sighted it. Carolyn Porco, Scientific American, "Cassini at Saturn: A Retrospective," 1 Oct. 2017 According to AccuWeather, jet streams act as an invisible director of the weather, and are responsible for changes across the globe. Cierra Williams, Country Living, "The Weather Channel Predicts a Brutal Winter for Most of the Country," 16 Nov. 2018 Tornadoes need moisture streaming out of the Gulf of Mexico and abundant jet stream energy rushing in to meet it. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "Only 3 intense tornadoes have formed this year. That’s a record.," 23 May 2018 The re-route was a huge divergence from its usual trajectory across the Atlantic and through the Mediterranean, but thanks to excess windspeed harnessed by the jet stream, Flight 800 touched down on Turkish soil on time and unscathed. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Turkish Airlines Flight Flew an Extra 800 Miles and Still Landed on Time," 23 Oct. 2018 And as the difference in temperatures between the Arctic and the equator diminishes, so could the pressure gradient that drives large scale air currents like the jet stream. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Hurricanes stalling like Florence over the Carolinas may get even more common," 15 Sep. 2018 When this pattern is in place, the jet stream tends to dip in the eastern United States, allowing frigid air to surge south. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, "It’s very early, but signs are growing that next winter could be snowy in Washington," 21 June 2018

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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Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for jet stream

The first known use of jet stream was in 1947

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More Definitions for jet stream

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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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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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