A Satellite-derived Climatology of the ITCZ

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  • 1 Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California
  • | 2 Earth Space Research Group, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara. California
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Abstract

This paper presents fundamental climatological characteristics of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) in a simple concise manner using the highly reflective cloud (HRC) dataset. This satellite-derived dataset uses both visible and infrared observations to measure the frequency of occurrence of large-scale convective systems over the global tropics at a 1° spatial resolution. These dataset characteristics make the HRC particularly well suited for climatological analysis of the ITCZ because the dataset is based on estimates of organized deep convective cloud systems rather than observations of clouds as a whole, and it provides the spatial resolution needed to identify thew large-wale convective structures. Furthermore, the dataset covers a time period extending nearly two decades, which provides for a fairly robust climatology and the opportunity to examine seasonal and interannual variability of both the convection and the latitude of the ITCZ.

Abstract

This paper presents fundamental climatological characteristics of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) in a simple concise manner using the highly reflective cloud (HRC) dataset. This satellite-derived dataset uses both visible and infrared observations to measure the frequency of occurrence of large-scale convective systems over the global tropics at a 1° spatial resolution. These dataset characteristics make the HRC particularly well suited for climatological analysis of the ITCZ because the dataset is based on estimates of organized deep convective cloud systems rather than observations of clouds as a whole, and it provides the spatial resolution needed to identify thew large-wale convective structures. Furthermore, the dataset covers a time period extending nearly two decades, which provides for a fairly robust climatology and the opportunity to examine seasonal and interannual variability of both the convection and the latitude of the ITCZ.

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