Weather Facts

What is the Low Level Jet?

You may have heard or seen the term low level jet used in the forecast discussion. This term is used to describe a wind flow just above the surface at night which can cause and enhance thunderstorm development during the spring and summer months. Itís a very complicated process that occurs but in a nutshell it can be described as followsÖ At night, the cooler air sinks and collects at the surface of the earth. If there is a gradient wind flow and it is warm and has adequate moisture, it will rise above this stable layer near the ground. This rising motion and faster flow causes the lift and needed instability which can result in heavy nighttime thunderstorms. They normally dissipate during the morning hours.