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Air Pressure  

Wind Team

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Fast Facts for the Wind Team
Jet Stream

  1. Jet streams are narrow corridors of very strong winds at altitudes from 30,000 to 50,000 ft. They blow in a wavy pattern from west to east across North America at speeds exceeding 60 knots.
  2. The jet stream steers surface lows (associated with troughs) and surface highs (associated with ridges) and the fronts anchored to them.
  3. Troughs of low pressure air bring generally cool, cloudy weather. Ridges of high pressure air bring generally warm, clear weather.
  4. When the jet stream is south of a given location, the weather tends to be relatively cold. When the jet stream is north of the same location, the weather tends to be relatively warm.
  5. Storms are more likely to develop on the leading (east) edge of a trough.

Surface Winds

  1. The altitude of surface winds fluctuates depending on the terrain, air temperature, and air pressure. Surface winds can be located from ground level to approximately 3,000 feet.
  2. Changes in wind speed or direction may cause problems for small planes during takeoffs and landings.
  3. Authorities use the Beaufort Wind Scale to describe wind speed and strength.

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