The Polar Jet Stream Over Asia, 2010
Meandering around the planet like a rollicking roller coaster in the sky, the Northern Hemisphere's polar jet stream is a fast-moving belt of westerly winds that traverses the lower layers of the atmosphere. The jet is created by the convergence of cold air masses descending from the Arctic and rising warm air from the tropics. Deep troughs and steep ridges emerge as the denser cold air sinks and deflects warm air regions north, giving the jet stream its wavy appearance. This pattern propagates across the mid-latitudes of North America, Europe and Asia, as pockets of cold air sporadically creep down from the Arctic—creating contrasting waves and flows that accelerate eastward due to Earth's rotation.
This visualization was adapted from The Polar Jet Stream (#3864) by special request, using weather and climate observations from NASA's MERRA data model from 2010 for the period of the floods in Russia and the droughts in Pakistan.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
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Datasets used in this visualization
Terra and Aqua Blue Marble Land CoverID: 510Collected with MODIS
Credit: The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).See all pages that use this dataset
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