Why isn't the jet stream one continuous stream around the entire hemisphere?

Please see

Where does the wind go when it comes to the end of each segment?

I really thought it was like a big river of air, but, apparently, no!

See http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints/100/


The jet stream consists of troughs and ridges which are dependent upon surface conditions. If there is an area in which there is no temperature gradient and hence no barometric gradient, there will be no jet stream.

[sub]fixed coding - DrMatrix[/sub]

You could just as easily ask, “where does the wind go EITHER SIDE of each segment”.

Don’t forget that is a 300mb chart (about 30,000ft), just one of many mb levels in the atmosphere, both higher and lower, so there are lots of places for it to ‘go’.

You could have a vertical slice chart thru the atmosphere as well, which would also show areas of higher and lower windspeed.