Intertropical Convergence Zone
Intertropical Convergence Zone
Area where northeast and southeast trade winds converge
Also known as
Doldrums, Calms
Monotonous windless weather
Encircles Earth near the thermal equator; position varies seasonally
The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is a belt of low pressure near the equator where the trade winds from the northern and southern hemispheres converge, causing warm, moist air to rise and produce clouds and heavy rainfall. It encircles the Earth in a band of thunderstorms and is visible as a line of clouds near the equator.

Key Points About the ITCZ

  • It is a region of rising air and convergence of the northeast and southeast trade winds near the equator.
  • The rising air leads to the formation of towering thunderstorms and heavy precipitation in this zone.
  • The position of the ITCZ shifts seasonally, following the overhead sun and bringing rainy and dry seasons to tropical regions.
  • Over oceans, the ITCZ's seasonal migration is more subtle due to the oceans' higher heat capacity compared to land.
  • The South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) is considered the largest and most persistent part of the ITCZ.
  • Climate change can affect the position and intensity of the ITCZ, potentially causing droughts or flooding in nearby areas.
The ITCZ plays a crucial role in atmospheric circulation and precipitation patterns in the tropics, with its shifting position influencing the wet and dry seasons experienced in equatorial regions. Its behavior over oceans and land masses can vary due to factors like heat capacity and regional features.
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