Earth Space Research Group


The ITCZ is a band of low pressure which forms over the regions of the warmest waters and land masses in the tropics. The ITCZ is identified on the satellite image as the band of bright clouds located just north of the equator.

The ITCZ is not a stationary band but tends to migrate to the warmest surface areas throughout the year. In the early part of the calendar year, the high sun occurs in the Southern Hemisphere causing a southward displacement of the ITCZ. As the high sun period travels from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere, the ITCZ follows by migrating northward attaining its maximum northward displacement during the month of June.

While El Nino conditions prevail, the normal migration of the ITCZ is disrupted due to the unusually warm sea surface temperatures which occur in the tropical Pacific.