Super Bowl weekend will be extra busy for Taylor Swift: She has four Eras Tour concert performances in Japan, and her beau, Travis Kelce, of the Kansas City Chiefs, plays the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas.
Chiefs fans and Swifties can rest easy; the "Cruel Summer" singer made it back in time for Super Bowl Sunday with time to spare – with a little help from international time zones and possibly a boost from the Pacific jet stream.
Swift has been performing her 44-song setlist through all the weather curveballs this year, including record heat and severe storms in the U.S. and extreme heat in Brazil. However, the forecast was on her side to see Kelce play in the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl LVIII kickoff happens at 3:30 p.m. local time in Las Vegas (6:30 p.m. EST) on Sunday, Feb. 11.
Time zone shuffle
Swift continued the international leg of her Eras tour with four concerts in Tokyo between Feb. 7 and 10. The final show was on Saturday at 6 p.m. local time in Japan, which is 17 hours ahead of Las Vegas, in Pacific Standard Time.
The singer-songwriter ended her concert around 11 p.m. JST. Swift took a 12-hour flight landing at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Saturday evening ahead of schedule, according to the New York Post. This put her back in the U.S. with plenty of time to get to Las Vegas and get ready to cheer on her favorite NFL player at Allegiant Stadium.
How the jet stream might have given a boost to Taylor Swift's travel time
Besides the time difference, Swift also had the El Niño climate pattern in her favor.
According to NOAA, one of the most significant impacts during an El Niño year is the shift in the path of the midlatitude jet streams. These high-level winds separate warm and cool air masses and steer storms from the Pacific Ocean across the U.S.
When an airplane is flying at 500 mph, the pilot can use this powerful jet stream to zoom across the Pacific, ultimately reducing flight time.
"The Pacific Jet looks to provide a boost for any flights that take advantage during the weekend of Feb. 10-11. In some cases, flights could save up to an hour or two depending on the specific route," FOX Weather Senior Meteorologist Jordan Overton explained. "There are many factors that go into determining the flight route, including weather, fuel, the destination airport, etc."
Early this year, passenger jets traveling from west to east benefited from this powerful jet stream.
"El Nino has a tendency to extend and amplify the Pacific Jet, which we've seen a couple of times now over the past few weeks," Overton said.
For Super Bowl weekend, a handful of flights from Japan Airlines, American Airlines and Singapore Airlines landed between a half-hour and an hour early on routes from Tokyo International Airport to Los Angeles International, according to FlightAware.com.