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Vertical and latitudinal variation of the intertropical convergence zone derived using GPS radio occultation measurements


© 2015 Elsevier Inc. Using GPS radio occultation refractivity data collected over the period of 2002-2013, we present a new method for identification of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). The ITCZ is identified by estimating the maximum in the monthly meridional refractivity and specific humidity field by applying a Gaussian fit at each longitude. The interannual variability and climatology of the ITCZ is presented from 12. years of refractivity data. This new method captures all the general features of ITCZ extent and its variability. We also examine the effects of the ITCZ vertically during different seasons. The ITCZ is observed mostly at eastern Pacific in May month, and it is zonally distributed in the September and October months of each year. The zonal variability is large between lower and higher levels, particularly over the Indian monsoon and western Pacific. The latitudinal difference in the vertical extent between 850. hPa and higher levels is larger during the northern hemisphere (NH) summer than NH winter.

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