Overshooting top

From Glossary of Meteorology

overshooting top

(Or anvil dome, penetrating top.) A domelike protrusion above a cumulonimbus anvil, representing the intrusion of an updraft through its equilibrium level (level of neutral buoyancy).

It is usually a transient feature because the rising parcel's momentum acquired during its buoyant ascent carries it past the point where it is in equilibrium; the air within it rapidly becomes negatively buoyant and descends. Tall and persistent overshooting tops are frequently observed with strong or severe thunderstorms in which there is a nearly continuous stream of buoyant updrafts.