Polar Front Jet on the Water Vapor Image

Water vapor satellite is used to identify moisture in the atmosphere. We can also use it to help us identify the Polar front Jetstream. The Jetstream is outlined in the above image with a red line.

As you can see it travels through an area of black or what we refer to as dry air. The reason the polar front jet travels through dry air is that the winds associated with this jet can exceed 150mph which keeps the air moving too fast to develop moisture at high levels.

The polar front jet brings with it wind shear, which is a huge factor when forecasting for aviation operations. Aviation and pilots like to avoid the polar front jet when they are on west bound flights and this is so they don’t get slowed down by the strong winds.

On the other hand when pilots travel west to east they look for the polar front jet and use it to help create a faster route towards the east as the tail wind will increase the speed of the airplane.

When we look at the polar front jet on the image above, we can see the dip in the Pacific. This would be associated with an area of lower pressure near the surface. When the area moving into the Western United States starts to shift towards a more northerly movement this would indicate the start of a high pressure on the surface.