intertropical convergence zone

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intertropical convergence zone

[¦in·tər′träp·ə·kəl kən′vər·jəns ‚zōn]
The axis, or a portion thereof, of the broad trade-wind current of the tropics; this axis is the dividing line between the southeast trades and the northeast trades (of the Southern and Northern hemispheres, respectively). Also known as equatorial convergence zone; meteorological equator.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Intertropical Convergence Zone


an intermediate zone, several hundred kilometers wide, between the trade winds of the northern and southern hemispheres. For most of the year, the intertropical convergence zone is located north of the equator; during the northern hemisphere’s winter it nears the equator (and can sometimes penetrate into the southern hemisphere), and during the summer it recedes from it. Over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, seasonal displacements of the intertropical convergence zone are not great; they are greater over Africa and South America, but they are particularly significant in the basin of the Indian Ocean, where trade-wind circulation over extensive areas is replaced by monsoon circulation. Considerable shifts in the intertropical convergence zone are frequently observed even from one day to the next.

In general, the intertropical convergence zone coincides with the equatorial depression—that is, with a low-pressure belt situated between the subtropical high-pressure zones of the northern and southern hemispheres. In this zone, in addition to light, variable winds, squalls and winds with a pronounced general easterly or westerly direction are observed. The nature of the weather in the intertropical convergence zone differs sharply from the weather in the trade-wind zones. Convection here is accelerated by the confluence of lines of flow; there is increased cloudiness, the clouds reach great heights, and abundant precipitation falls from them.

The intertropical convergence zone, as a rule, is not uniform in its breadth and properties; wave and vortex perturbations arise in it, leading to the formation of separate cloud clusters. The overwhelming majority of tropical cyclones with storm winds and catastrophic consequences form in this zone.


Riehl, H. Tropicheskaia meteorologiia. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ)

The boundary zone between the tradewinds of the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres. It is characterized in maritime climates by overcast skies, showers, and precipitation, with cumulus clouds sometimes extending to great heights.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
References in periodicals archive ?
This article commences with an overview of various published definitions of the ITCZ. This is followed by a historical look at the development of the image of the ITCZ over Africa, as well as controversies surrounding it.
Making matters worse, radar is of limited use in the ITCZ.
They discovered that after such large eruptions, the ITCZ moved away from the active volcanoes and enhanced precipitation wherever it traveled.
The potential of a flood-plume leading to inshore warm water presence (sea-surface temperatures in excess of 25[degrees]C) only bodes well where the arena for tropical low pressure cells, associated with the ITCZ, is concerned.
The intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) near the equator marks the transition between the dry harmattan winds blowing over the Sahara and the moist southwesterly monsoon winds coming from the tropical Atlantic.
Hence, cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms due to the ITCZ are expected to prevail in Palawan and Mindanao, the state weather bureau added.
The intertropical convergence zone or ITCZ, however, will bring cloudy skies with scattered rains over Palawan, Eastern Visayas and Mindanao.
A recent study in Nature Communications has made a surprising new breakthrough in this area by connecting a particular periodic tilt of the Earth to changes in the world's heaviest rain belt and largest source of heat and moisture--the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).
This equatorial low has an ITCZ footprint with this cross-continental inflow.
This Wednesday, during the celebration of the Philippine Independence Day, the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) will continue to be the prevailing weather system affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
In its forecast on Tuesday morning, Pagasa said parts of Visayas and Mindanao would also experience scattered rains and thunderstorms due to the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).