I'm looking at forecasted winds aloft on SkyVector for early next week. Specifically, I'm looking at the Pacific Ocean (routed between California and Hawaii) and notice that there are some barbs showing almost 150kt winds at FL300.
Being someone who only has experience flying in lower altitudes with wind speeds I can fathom, this brings up a few questions for me:
- Is there a maximum or safe winds aloft value / crosswind for say, a 737 to fly?
- How is it reasonable to deal with wind speeds this high when they're other than a direct headwind or tailwind? What if it is a direct crosswind, how is it possible for the airplane to fly without significant navigation issues (or maybe safety issues?) at velocities that high.
- In general, how does the significant wind speeds found in the upper altitudes affect flight (contrasted with typical general aviation flight)