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The main icing zone in the ITCZ is located between:
  • A
    FL 250 – FL 350
  • B
    FL 100 – FL 200
  • C
    FL 200 – FL 300
  • D
    FL 160 – FL 260

The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is the broad zone of separation between the air masses either side of the heat equator.

Here, the prevailing trade winds of the northern hemisphere blow to the southwest and collide with the southern hemisphere’s driving northeast trade winds.

Due to intense solar heating near the equator, the warm, moist air is forced up into the atmosphere.

As the air rises, it cools, causing persistent bands of showers and storms around the Earth’s midsection.
The main feature of the ITCZ is extensive Cu, Cb and thunderstorms.
When stable air exists, there will be extensive sheets of As & Ns cloud and more continuous type rain.

The rising air mass finally subsides in what is known as the horse latitudes (between 30° - 40°N), where the air moves downward toward Earth’s surface.

ITCZ = doldrums = Thermal Equator = Equatorial Trough

The ITCZ can vary from 25 NM to 300 NM in width and there is no well defined frontal surface.

Clouds are not caused by air mass temperature differences as at the polar front, but by convergence of the NE and SE trade winds which are normally the same temperature.
The cloud tops are sometimes as low as 20 000 ft but more frequently 50 000 ft or more.
Turbulence is usually severe, as is icing, which can be from 16 000 ft upwards.

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