Earth Observatory Home NASA Earth Observatory Home Data and Images Features News Reference Missions Experiments Search
NASA's Earth Observatory
 Earth Observatory Navigation Bar
News
  New Images

The Intertropical Convergence Zone
The Intertropical Convergence Zone Click here to view full image (1574 kb)

The Intertropical Convergence Zone, or ITCZ, is the region that circles the Earth, near the equator, where the trade winds of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres come together. The intense sun and warm water of the equator heats the air in the ITCZ, raising its humidity and causing it to rise. As the air rises it cools, releasing the accumulated moisture in an almost perpetual series of thunderstorms.

Variation in the location of the ITCZ drastically affects rainfall in many equatorial nations, resulting in the wet and dry seasons of the tropics rather than the cold and warm seasons of higher latitudes. Longer term changes in the ITCZ can result in severe droughts or flooding in nearby areas.

This image is a combination of cloud data from NOAA’s newest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-11) and color land cover classification data. The ITCZ is the band of bright white clouds that cuts across the center of the image.

For more GOES images, visit the GOES Project Science site.

Image Courtesy GOES Project Science Office

Recommend this Image to a Friend

Back to: Newsroom

Also see
Visible Earth

 
Latest Images
View Images Index

SORCE Completes First Year of Mission
  SORCE Completes First Year of Mission

Ongoing Eruption of Mount Belinda
  Ongoing Eruption of Mount Belinda

Thinning Upper Atmosphere
  Thinning Upper Atmosphere

   
Subscribe to the Earth Observatory
About the Earth Observatory
Please send comments or questions to: eobmail@eodomo.gsfc.nasa.gov
Responsible NASA official: Yoram Kaufman
NASA/GSFC Security and Privacy Statement