Capping inversion

From Glossary of Meteorology
(Redirected from Capping layer)



capping inversion


Although the word "inversion" implies that temperature increases with height, the word "capping inversion" is used more loosely for any stable layer (potential temperature increasing with height) at the top of the boundary layer. This inversion is a ubiquitous feature of the atmospheric boundary layer, formed because the troposphere is statically stable on the average, and because turbulence homogenizes air within the boundary layer, which by conservation of heat requires that a stable layer form at the top of the boundary layer. This inversion traps surface-induced turbulence and air pollutants below it, and causes the free atmosphere to not "feel" the earth's surface during fair weather (i.e., no drag, free slip, no heat or moisture from the surface, and winds are nearly geostrophic).
See lid.


Copyright 2022 American Meteorological Society (AMS). For permission to reuse any portion of this work, please contact permissions@ametsoc.org. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 U.S. Code § 107) or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S.Copyright Act (17 USC § 108) does not require AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, require written permission or a license from AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement.