Weather Wednesday: How the atmosphere affects travel times

Weather Wednesday

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Travel during 2020 has changed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Though the health procedures for flying changed, outside the plane the science behind flight times remains the same.

When flying west, one would assume with earth’s counter-clockwise rotation, travel time would be shorter since the earth is moving towards the starting point. The catch is when the globe turns, the land, water and atmosphere move with it, so planes will fight the west wind and slow the travel.

Flying east is where people can spend less time in their economy seat. West wind will be behind the plane shortening the time. Even more speed can be gained by flying in the jet stream. The jet stream is a tube of fast moving air through the atmosphere that the weather travels along. Though the plane can gain speed with the wind behind it, turbulence can be an issue with flying in the jet stream.

The full explanation with StormTracker 6 Meteorologist Diane Phillips is above in this addition of Weather Wednesday.

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