jet stream

jet stream
A narrow band of high-velocity wind in the upper troposphere or in the stratosphere. These westerly air currents in the form of a flattened, narrow core may be thousands of miles in length and a hundred or more miles in width and have one or more vertical thicknesses. The wind speeds in a jet stream are typically 100 to 200 knots (minimum 60 knots) but can reach as high as 300 knots in the core. The maximum winds usually are found at heights varying between 35,000 and 40,000 ft but jet streams of lesser magnitudes may be found at about 24,000 ft. There are two different jet streams in the troposphere—the subtropical and the polar. During winter, the subtropical jet streams are relatively consistent and continuous in position and in time, whereas polar jet streams are much more variable in location, continuity, speed, and elevation.
Principal jet streams in the Northern Hemisphere.

Aviation dictionary. 2014.

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