Learn about Earth’s jet streams with these visualizations from NASA. Fast-moving belts of wind, called jet streams, travel around the planet in wavy, meandering paths. In these animations, faster winds are colored red; slower winds are colored blue. These animations were created using NASA’s Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) dataset. The first animation shows a global view of polar and subtropical jet streams. The second animation focuses on the polar jet stream over North America. The third animation focuses on the polar jet stream over Asia during a period of time in 2010.
To view the Background Essay and Teaching Tips for media gallery, go to Support Materials below. This resource was developed through WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project, in collaboration with NASA. Click here for the full collection of resources.