National Wind, Jetstream & Visibility

National Wind Speed and Direction

        About this map:
Wind affects our environment in many ways.
Wind speed and direction play a role in our own comfort level, in drying conditions of our soil and can be a real danger when it reaches an extreme level.
Use this map to determine wind direction and speed and to help forecast possible adverse conditions for your area. 
National Visibility

        About this map:

This visibility map shows the approximate visibility range in both miles and kilometers.
Use this map to determine the approximate visibility range, both for your local area and the rest of the nation.
National Jet Stream Patterns

        About this map:
The jet stream is a narrow band of air that moves around the earth at relatively high speeds. Speeds in a jet can reach close to 200 miles per hour with wind directions flowing from west to east.
How Do Jet Streams Form?
Warm air masses in the south meet cool air masses from the north and create temperature and air pressure gradients. 
Essentially, you can compare a "gradient" to a  hill on a ski trip. The steeper the hill, the faster you will reach the bottom due to a large difference in the grade of that hill.
In wind speed, the pressure difference between a high and low pressure zone can be very large, thereby creating high winds. 
Pressure and temperature differences in the jet stream can be large as a global warm front from the south and a cold front from the north meet.
What Does the Jet Stream Do?
In the winter, areas in the Northern Hemisphere may get colder than normal periods as the jet stream dips "lower" bringing cold air in from the polar regions.
Although the height of the jet stream is typically 20,000 feet or more, the influences on weather 
patterns can be substantial as well.
High wind speeds can drive and direct storms creating devastating droughts and floods.
Use this map to forecast the jet stream patterns for your local area.

Weather Fast Fact

The cloud height on this site is an estimate of cumulus clouds using a formula based on temperature and dew point. Actual measurements of cloud height are made with a ceilometer. This device fires a laser into the sky and measures the backscattered signal. Costs for such a device are beyond the scope of weather hobbyists.