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Global Atmospheric

Jet Stream and Gulf Stream

What is the Jet Stream

Jet Stream: “river” of air in the upper
troposphere with very high wind
The jet stream’s high winds are
caused by the difference of
temperatures between two air masses.
Jet streams usually form in the winter
Jet streams do not cause weather. They
are the result of weather conditions
such as temperature differences.

Jet Stream…

The jet stream is a fast flowing, river of air found
in the atmosphere at around 5-7 miles above the
surface of the Earth just under the troposphere.
They form at the boundaries of adjacent air masses
with significant differences in temperature, such as
of the polar region and the warmer air to the
south. Because of the effect of the Earth's rotation
the streams flow west to east, propagating in a
serpentine or wave-like manner at lower speeds
than that of the actual wind within the flow.
Credit -

Jet Stream…

Ocean Currents…

There are a number of ocean currents found
around the Earth. A current is like a vast
river within the ocean, flowing from one
place to another. These currents are caused
by differences in temperature, differences
in salinity, and by wind. Currents are
responsible for a vast amount of movement
of the water found in the Earth’s oceans.

Gulf Stream…

Gulf Stream: surface current that starts
in southern Florida and flows along
the eastern U.S. coast.
› The Gulf Stream’s warm water influences

climate in its path because it carries warm
tropical water near the equator to colder
areas in the north.
› Hurricanes travel in its path.

Gulf Stream and Weather…

The Gulf Stream is one of the most
important currents in this regard since it
gathers all of its water from the warm
tropical waters of the Caribbean and the Gulf
of Mexico.
The Gulf Stream keeps sea surface
temperatures warm, causing the areas
around it to be warm and more hospitable.
Florida and much of the Southeastern United
States for instance is mild all year round.

El Nino/El Nina

El Niño is a climate phenomenon within the
oceanic-atmospheric system in the tropical
Pacific Ocean. This occurrence can influence
temperature and precipitation patterns not
only there but elsewhere in the world.
The net result is a sea surface temperature
that is about 8 degrees warmer in the
western Pacific.
La Nina results in the slight cooling of the
ocean. This causes different weather
patterns around the world.

El Nino/El Nina

El Nino - (El Nee-nyo) is the
warming of water in the Pacific
La Nina - (Lah Nee-Nyah) is the
cooling of water in the Pacific

Gulf Stream Video…

Did you know that hurricanes form on the
gulf stream and follow along its path?
 The warm waters of the Gulf Stream often
feed hurricanes by providing warm water
that might be patchy elsewhere.

Hurricanes feed off of the warm water
and will continue to pick up speed unless
they hit large areas of cold water, which
can cause them to weaken and even die
before they hit land.

Review Questions…

Where is the Jet Stream located?
Why is the Jet Stream important?
Does the Jet Stream create weather? Why or why
Why are ocean currents important?
Where is the Gulf Stream located?
How does the Gulf Stream impact our weather?
What is the difference between El Nino and El
How are the Jet Stream and the Gulf Stream both
similar and different?