Jet stream maps

Jet streams are rivers of air that separate northern and southern air masses. Weather systems and fronts do the same, but the jet stream does the same thing without a lot of the complexity of surface fronts. A common level of the atmosphere to look at the jet stream is 500 millibars, the point half way through the atmosphere.

Here’s the 500 mb map for March 20, the day Paula decided to come home until spring arrived in North Carolina.

500 mb map for March 20, 2013.

This shows cold air at the 500 mb level (about 15,000 feet) above the USA. On the GA/NC boundary, the air temperature there is about -22°C or -8°F. That should mean the ground level will be about 25°F, pretty cold!

Here it is for the day Paula went back to the south.

April 17, 2013 500 mb map.

While the kink in the west is part of a cold storm in the mountain states, it’s much warmer along the southern Appalachian Trail. Now the air over the GA/NC boundary is about 10°C warmer, 18°F, and far more comfortable on the ground.

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~ by Ric Werme on April 19, 2013.

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