Intertropical Convergence Zone

Definition - What does Intertropical Convergence Zone mean?

The Intertropical Convergence Zone is a belt of converging rising air and trade winds which enclose the earth near the equator. It is a belt with low pressure that migrates with the changes in the position of the thermal equator. It appears to be a band of clouds, mostly thunderstorms which encircle the globe near the equator. In the Northern Hemisphere the winds blow in the southwest direction from the northeast direction, while in the Southern Hemisphere the winds travel in the northwest direction from the southeast direction.

Petropedia explains Intertropical Convergence Zone

The Intertropical Convergence Zone is the area enclosing the earth near the equator where the southeast and northeast winds converge. These rising winds produce high cloudiness, heavy rainfall and frequent thunderstorms.

The Intertropical Convergence Zone seasonally shifts upwards and downwards with the sun towards the north and south respectively. The most intense heat is received by the thermal equator from the Sun. Each year at around 20th December, the Sun is atop at 23 ½°South, at the Tropic of Capricorn, and at around 20th June it is atop at 23 ½°North, at the Tropic of Cancer.

It can be observed that the Intertropical Convergence Zone encounters some or all the hazards related to Cumulonimbus clouds like turbulence, wind shear, icing and lightning. Particularly, connective breakthroughs of the tropopause may occur majorly overland, especially in second half of each day which generates more isolated cells.

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