1.2.3.4. Equilibrium level (‚anvil level‘)

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  • Author: SW101

The equilibrium level is produced by a temperature inversion, which prevents the updraft from rising further

In this case the rising updraft encounters a sharp temperature inversion, which acts as a ceiling. The updraft rapidly looses buoyancy in and above the inversion, effectively encountering a ceiling for its vertical motion. The updraft spreads laterally underneath the inversion, forming the distinctive anvil shape of a Cumulonimbus capillatus incus.

The updraft rises towards the equilibrium level through Cumulus congestus and Cumulonimbus calvus stages.

The tropopause is an important temperature inversion, controlling the vertical development of strong thunderstorms.