Strange weather in the Atlantic

The last couple days there as been tail wings going west bound in the Atlantic normally they are ferocious headwinds so it’s very unusual that we have tailwinds in the Atlantic

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Happens occasionally, when I went to Switzerland in 2023 my outbound (going east) was almost longer than my inbound (going west).

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I find when this happens about a week after the headwinds return west bound but ridiculously strong lime 150kts+ and it takes 8 hours from London to New York and barely 6 in the way back

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It as interesting pattern when you think about it

8 hours!! Longest I’ve had from LHR - JFK was 7:30 hours.


Irl flight from London to New York have been timed at upwards of 8 and a half hours in extreme headwinds especially in the JetBlue flight on the a321 LR can’t imagine being in a non wide body for that long 😅


I just looked at a north Atlantic weather chart and there is an area of high pressure just above an area of low pressure.

Low pressure generate winds around the low which blow counter clockwise and high pressure clockwise. As you have high pressure just north of a low, the winds will blow east to west on the northern side of the low pressure system (southern side of the high).

As a result, the eastbound North Atlantic Tracks (NATs) are far north towards Greenland while the westbound NATs are just to the south where the wind is blowing east to west.

As you can see, strongest eastbound jet is further south, but too far south for most north Atlantic air traffic.

It changes in the summer and winter in the winter the plane performs better because the air is more dense versus in the summer and since the weather is changing into summer time it must also be changing in the sim is my guess.

Infinite Flight pulls real weather data from the GFS for winds aloft (jet stream) as well as near real-time weather at airports (airport weather sometimes runs about 1 hour behind).

The jet stream is stronger (faster) during the winter months because of the temperature difference from the polar-front jet stream. The jet stream forms where cold and warm air masses collide and it’s most pronounced during the winter with the polar-front jet. The greater the temperature difference, the stronger the jet stream.

During summer months (in Northern Hemisphere) the temperature differences are not as dramatic – you might be looking at a 10-20 (F) degree difference in the winter whereas in the winter, it’s much greater – for example, it may be 10 degrees in Chicago and 60 in Nashville.

250mb | Winds Aloft Forecast

Current WX radar / Sig WX

The strongest jet is currently over North America following a front where cold and warm air masses meet.

Last but not least, Density Altitude – or DA for short – affects aircraft performance. DA is based on temperature and altitude. Cold air is more dense, as is air at lower altitudes.

An aircraft that performs well on a 32 (F) degree day at sea level may experience significant performance issues on a 100 (F) degree day at 5,500 feet above sea level. Atmospheric temperatures also play a role in flight performance.