Earth  ID: 4171

European Jet Stream

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 uses weather and climate observations from NASA's MERRA data model.
 

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Visualization Credits

Trent L. Schindler (USRA): Lead Animator
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Visualizer
Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC): Visualizer
Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems Inc.): Project Support
Ian Jones (ADNET Systems Inc.): Project Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).

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http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4171

Data Used:
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Blue Marble Land Cover
MERRA
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

Keywords:
DLESE >> Atmospheric science
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Winds >> Upper Level Winds
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> MERRA
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Jet Stream

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0