The jet stream bends, almost double it seems sometimes, around Alaska, bouncing off the Aleutians. Since most in the Lower 48 never see the weather map for Alaska, your idea of the jet stream is very different. (Most US TV weather readers/casters stand in front of New Mexico. My brother in NYC could never tell what Mountain Time weather was like.)
- The maps are from http://virga.sfsu.edu/ which has maps and analyses and forecasts of the jet stream, including for all the northern hemisphere.
Sketch map: Northern Hemisphere– click to view larger
Wikipedia has a good outline of jet stream in relation to the atmospheric layers, ” The main jet streams are located near the tropopause, the transition between the troposphere (where temperature decreases with altitude) and the stratosphere (where temperature increases with altitude).”
- via OTHER MAPS
I suggest looking at this site for weather models, especially for predictive models for winds carrying materials from Japan after the 2011 earthquake, “Cliff Mass Weather Blog This blog provides my latest forecast or comments on current weather or other topics” http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/