Tropical Terms I - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Tropical Terms I

There are several terms that we use during hurricane season that are not used any other time during the year. Here are a few of them and definitions of the terms as well.

The Atlantic Basin

This area covers all of the area East of North America, Central America and South America that is located north of the equator. To include but not limited to the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

The ITCZ  or Inter-tropical Convergence Zone

This area in the Atlantic Basin is a region located near 5-10 degrees north latitude. It is around this area that a tropical system begins to form. From a tropical wave to a tropical disturbance to a hurricane, many tropical systems originate from this area to serve as heat distribution mechanisms and dispense heat from the equator and ITCZ throughout the northern hemisphere. Though some storms will originate outside of this area, we keep a weary eye on the ITCZ during hurricane season.


 Any anomaly in wind flow aloft or an area that is conducive for tropical development. This term is used to describe any area that could possibly develop into a tropical cyclone.

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