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A place over the equator called the Doldrums are know for the severe lack of sailing winds. In the atmosphere above it is there any presence of turbulence anywhere? Where would the least year round turbulence be found?

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The intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) (aka. the doldrums) is an area around the Equator which is notorious for heavy convective activity often leading to tall cumulonimbus clouds and associated heavy turbulence.

The area around the Equator receives the largest amount of energy from the sun because of the perpendicular angle to the sun. This causes relative large heating of the surface, resulting in heating of the air above the surface and ultimatively convective activity including turbulence. This also causes a large green band around the earth near the Equator with rich vegetation, because the convective activity causes large amount of percipitation.

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The ITCZ is an important part of the global weather system, which is based on large cells of air generally moving in predictable patterns. The Hadley cell is a cell extending from the Equator to approximately 30 degrees north/south. Hot air rises at the Equator because of the heating caused by the perpendicular angle to the sun. This air travels at high levels as it cools down, and creates a downward flow of air around the 30 degree latitudes. As a result, the areas around 30 degrees latitude get almost no percipitation, which causes large areas of desert such as the Sahara.

The pattern repeats itself with Ferrel cells between 30 and 60 degrees latitude and a polar cell from 60 degrees latitude to the poles.

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  • $\begingroup$ Where would the least amount of up or downward draft be found? $\endgroup$ – user20435 Sep 12 '16 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Jen Well, from a global perspective that would be in the middle of the cells, e.g. around 15, 45 and 75 degrees of latitude. But more local weather systems could still cause turbulence in these areas as well. $\endgroup$ – J. Hougaard Sep 12 '16 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ Can you see this question too?aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/31477/… $\endgroup$ – user20435 Sep 12 '16 at 17:26
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    $\begingroup$ "As a result, the areas around 30 degrees latitude get almost no precipitation" This is a very big generalization. Reality is highly dependent on local geography. It is decidedly not true for the Southeastern U.S., for example. Baton Rouge is located at 30.4 degrees North and had 2.5 feet (approximately 3/4 of a meter) of rain last month alone. Much of Florida is around 30 degrees and it rains there almost every day. $\endgroup$ – reirab Sep 13 '16 at 6:05
  • $\begingroup$ @reirab Yes it is a generalization. We are talking about global weather systems after all :) $\endgroup$ – J. Hougaard Sep 13 '16 at 16:08

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