View Full Version : ITCZ On Sig. Weather Chart

BAe 146-100
19th Aug 2007, 21:35
I've often wondered what significance the ITCZ is across North Africa as it is labelled on the significant weather chart across the region's chart. Is this a particular area of turbulence or is there any other issues associated with the ITCZ that it must be located on the chart?


Carnage Matey!
19th Aug 2007, 22:42
How about massive CBs with tops at FL500+ ?

brit bus driver
19th Aug 2007, 23:32
:}Sounds like a man who's been there! At night, with a green weather radar? And no-one else within 1000 nm to give a PIREP. Good job it's only usually about 500 miles deep!

19th Aug 2007, 23:56
ITCZ in Africa? Whoo-hee, that can give you palpitations trying to get through/past it!

BAe 146-100, it would appear that you currently hold a PPL but are "working towards becoming an airline pilot". A closer look at the world climatology section of any good book about aviation met should give you a good insight - you'll need to know this stuff for a professional license.

Good luck.

BAe 146-100
20th Aug 2007, 13:39
How about massive CBs with tops at FL500+ ?

Holy lord! I've flown across that part of the world quite a few times but thankfully not this time of year when the ITCZ seems to be at its worst across North Africa. Must be quite a sight from the flight deck, no wonder why it is labelled, silly me thought it might have been only the odd CB here and there. :}

A closer look at the world climatology section of any good book about aviation met should give you a good insight - you'll need to know this stuff for a professional license.

Thanks for the advice; I find weather on the whole very interesting so studying it will be fairly pleasurable for me. I know some find it boring!


Thridle Op Des
22nd Aug 2007, 08:52
Hi 146,

As an ex operator in Nigeria, the ITCZ position was probably the dominant thing which descibed the local weather conditions as it moved up and down the country, slightly lagging the position of the sun's annual azimuth change with season. If the ITCZ was actually crossing the location, then as you already know, that's when the sharp rain squalls and thunderstorms would kick off usually lasting an hour or so. If the ITCZ was to the north, during the Northern Hemisphere Summer, then the rain was more persistant and could last for a couple of days, but was not as violent (all relative). When the ITCZ was to the south then then the high pressure in the Sahara kicked in and 'de Harmattan' started with bursts of thick dusty episodes, preceded by extensive fogs in some areas.
I'm sure that other areas in central Africa had other local variations, but essentially if you knew the position of the ITCZ in West Africa, you could usually made a good shot at a forcast.

What I am curious about is that the ITCZ is only indicated over the land mass of Continental Africa (maybe South America has it as well, but never operated there) Anyone have any ideas?


Green Flash
22nd Aug 2007, 09:22
I once heard two descriptions of AAR (a Herc on a '10) through the ITCZ. 'Like trying to thread a needle on a Wurlitzer' was one. 'Like trying to stuff wet spaghetti up a Wildcats @rse' :eek: was another. Says it all, really.:\

22nd Aug 2007, 09:34
I met an ITCZ once. Off the coast of Malasia, in one of HM finest twinjets. Without any 'cloud & clonk', we unknowingly entered it at FL330, and, notwithstanding full airbrakes and closed throttles, were finally spat out of the top at in excess of 55,000ft. Eye watering stuff. Having a beer that evening in the 'swill', someone remarked that we were lucky not to have been caught in the downdraught bit!

22nd Aug 2007, 09:46
Try google and there is enough reading material available to keep you in the Doldrums.

BAe 146-100
22nd Aug 2007, 22:36
Thanks a lot guys for the insight much appreciated.

On the subject of weather can any of you recommend a good book for this sort of stuff available in the UK? I've seen a few, namely Meteorology For Pilots but wondered if there are any good ones out there that you can get in the UK?


23rd Aug 2007, 09:12
In my opinion, just about the best book on Meteorology is "Handbook of Aviation Meteorology". Published by HMSO, ISBN 0 11 400365 3.

24th Aug 2007, 21:20
Hajj, 2001, flying from Solo Indonesia, the ITCZ was north of us for most of the second phase.

Never mind green, how about red, yellow and purple to the left and the right.

Pick the thinnest part and go though with the ignition on !

Quite interesting :D

26th Aug 2007, 17:22
Its basically the convergence 'Zone' of air masses and as such usually affects the weather pattern along the tropics.
It keeps the 'date' with the movement[apparent] of the Sun, going high [higher latitudes] during the Summers in the N hemisphere and lying much South during the winters [summer for S hemisphere].
Even the 'Great Migration' in Africa bordering Tanzania/Kenya is played out as per the ITCZ movement. ITCZ also extends across the Indian sub-continent though not displayed on Sig Wx charts.
Check the British Museum at London for an great animated display.:)

26th Aug 2007, 19:13
The ITCZ on SigWx charts has the same significance as do the fronts on those charts, but obviously different dynamics. Apparently ICAO doesn't think the significance is that great, because from 7 November 2007 all WAFC SigWx charts will cease to have fronts and ITCZ included.