200+ mph Jet Stream Winds Forecasted for Tue Jan 15th! (updated Jan 14th)

Meteorologists utilize forecast information generated by computer models which describe what the atmosphere's temperature, moisture and wind profiles will be in the future.

Four of the computer models we have access to are forecasting an incredibly powerful jet stream  wind in excess of 200 mph for 6 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2012, in the area stretching from Lake Ontario to northern Maine.  In fact, a maximum wind speed of 235 mph was found in this region upon closer examination!

In the image below you'll find four graphics, each representing the forecasted wind pattern and wind speed at 250 mb, or about 33,000 feet above the ground.  These forecasted winds were drived from the 6 pm Sunday, Jan 13th model runs.  The red arrow points to the location of the strongest wind speed we could find.  The solid yellow lines represent the height above the ground of the 250 mb pressure surface.  The wind is roughly parallel to the yellow lines - so we're looking at a southwest wind flow at the jet stream level.  The thin black line near the red arrow represents a contour of wind speeds 200 knots or higher (230 mph).  Click on image for larger version.

Jan 15 2012 jet stream winds

Obviously, if a jet airplane were flying northeast through that region at that time it would experience a great tail wind.   If the jet airplane had an air speed of 500 mph, then it's ground-relavtive speed, in this example, would be 735 mph!  Do you think that jet airplane would arrive earlier at it's destination?

On a related matter, a gust of 231 mph was measured on top of Mt. Washington, NH, on April 12, 1934. Click here for the story.

The National Climatic Data Center  has a web page of extreme weather events here.  NCDC provides a link to an Arizona State University link to a list of extreme weather events here.  At this site, a measured wind gust of 253 mph occurred in a Tropical cyclone in 1996 near Australia.


Kapela, WFO Milwaukee/Sullivan



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