Item No. 1980
Jet streams are fast flowing 100 mph air currents at altitudes reaching into the stratosphere.
These jets produce beautiful streaking patterns in cirrus clouds as they circle the globe.
This design is our impression of this upper atmospheric phenomenon as viewed from space.
The modeling image below, taken from inside the Space Shuttle, shows the Polar Jet Stream interacting with upper level atmospheric moisture.
In the 1920s, a Japanese meteorologist first detected the jet stream from a site near Mount Fuji as he tracked pilot balloons rising into the atmosphere.
The credit for our real understanding of jet streams belongs to World War II pilots ferrying aircraft to the European theater.
They consistently noticed westerly tailwinds in excess of 100 mph as they traversed the Atlantic.
Commercial jet stream use began November 18, 1952, when Pan Am flew from Tokyo to Honolulu in the Jet Stream shortening the trip from 18 hrs. to 11.5 hrs.