Capping InversionAlternate term for Cap; a layer of relatively warm air aloft, usually several thousand feet above the ground, which suppresses or delays the development of thunderstorms. Air parcels rising into this layer become cooler than the surrounding air, which inhibits their ability to rise further and produce thunderstorms. As such, the cap often prevents or delays thunderstorm development even in the presence of extreme instability. However, if the cap is removed or weakened, then explosive thunderstorm development can occur.
The cap is an important ingredient in most severe thunderstorm episodes, as it serves to separate warm, moist air below and cooler, drier air above. With the cap in place, air below it can continue to warm and/or moisten, thus increasing the amount of potential instability. Or, air above it can cool, which also increases potential instability. But without a cap, either process (warming/moistening at low levels or cooling aloft) results in a faster release of available instability - often before instability levels become large enough to support severe weather development.Frontal InversionA temperature inversion that develops aloft when warm air overruns the cold air behind a front.Inversion(abbrev. INVRN) Generally, a departure from the usual increase or decrease in an atmospheric property with altitude. Specifically it almost always refers to a temperature inversion, i.e., an increase in temperature with height, or to the layer within which such an increase occurs. An inversion is present in the lower part of a cap.Marine InversionTemperature inversion produced when cold marine air underlies warmer air.Nocturnal InversionUsed interchangably with Radiational Inversion; a temperature inversion that develops during the night as a result of radiational cooling of the surface. Because the immediate surface (lower Boundary Layer) cools much more rapidly during radiational cooling conditions than the air just above (upper Boundary Layer), a temperature inversion can be created overnight, but typically erodes quickly after sunrise.Radiational InversionUsed interchangably with Nocturnal Inversion; a temperature inversion that develops during the night as a result of radiational cooling of the surface. Because the immediate surface (lower Boundary Layer) cools much more rapidly during these conditions than the air just above (upper Boundary Layer), a temperature inversion can be created overnight, but typically erodes quickly after sunrise.Subsidence InversionA temperature inversion that develops aloft as a result of air gradually sinking over a wide area and being warmed by adiabatic compression, usually associated with subtropical high pressure areas.Temperature Inversion(surface-based or elevated) : a layer of the atmosphere in which air temperature increases with height. When the layer's base is at the surface, the layer is called a surface-based temperature inversion; when the base of the layer is above the surface, the layer is called an elevated temperature inversion.
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