Equilibrium level
In meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

, the equilibrium level (EL), or level of neutral buoyancy (LNB), or limit of convection (LOC), is the height at which a rising parcel
Air parcel
In fluid dynamics, within the framework of continuum mechanics, a fluid parcel is a very small amount of fluid, identifiable throughout its dynamic history while moving with the fluid flow. As it moves, the mass of a fluid parcel remains constant, while—in a compressible flow—its volume may...

 of air is at a temperature
Temperature is a physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold. Objects of low temperature are cold, while various degrees of higher temperatures are referred to as warm or hot...

 of equal warmth to it.

This means that unstable air is now stable when it reaches the equilibrium level and convection
Convection is the movement of molecules within fluids and rheids. It cannot take place in solids, since neither bulk current flows nor significant diffusion can take place in solids....

 stops. This level is often near the tropopause
The tropopause is the atmospheric boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere.-Definition:Going upward from the surface, it is the point where air ceases to cool with height, and becomes almost completely dry...

 and can be indicated as the anvil
Cumulonimbus cloud
Cumulonimbus is a towering vertical cloud that is very tall, dense, and involved in thunderstorms and other inclement weather. Cumulonimbus originates from Latin: Cumulus "Heap" and nimbus "rain". It is a result of atmospheric instability. These clouds can form alone, in clusters, or along a cold...

 of a thunderstorm
A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, a lightning storm, thundershower or simply a storm is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder. The meteorologically assigned cloud type associated with the...

 because it is where the thunderstorm updraft is usually cut off, except in the case of overshooting top
Overshooting top
An overshooting top is a dome-like protrusion that shoots out of the top of the anvil of a thunderstorm. When an overshooting top is present for 10 minutes or longer, it is a strong indication that the thunderstorm may be severe....


See also

  • Atmospheric thermodynamics
    Atmospheric thermodynamics
    Atmospheric thermodynamics is the study of heat to work transformations in the earth’s atmospheric system in relation to weather or climate...

  • Level of free convection
    Level of free convection
    The level of free convection is the altitude in the atmosphere where the temperature of the environment decreases faster than the moist adiabatic lapse rate of a saturated air parcel at the same level....

  • Lifted condensation level
    Lifted condensation level
    The lifted condensation level or lifting condensation level is formally defined as the height at which the relative humidity of an air parcel will reach 100% when it is cooled by dry adiabatic lifting...

External links

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