What is Virga?

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There is a good chance that all of us has seen Virga at some point in our lives. Virga is rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground.

Virga normally takes the form as streaks or shafts from the bottom of the clouds. Virga occurs when rain falls over an area with very low dewpoint temperatures. The lower the dewpoint temperature the drier the atmosphere is.

As the rain leaves the cloud and falls to the earth’s surface it travels through dry air. The dry air acts like a sponge and soaks up the rain droplets as it falls to the surface. If the rain comes down fast enough it could reach the ground but most of the rain will evaporate.

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