What Is Virga?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - If you've ever seen sheens of rain that appear to fall from clouds, but then just disappear about halfway down, that's known as virga. It's basically rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground.

Virga occurs when you have a layer of drier air near the surface. As the rain falls out of the cloud, it reaches this dry air layer, and just evaporates back into water vapor before it can reach the ground -- although if you're under an area of virga, you'll still likely notice a drop or two that survived the fall.

Virga is quite common in desert areas, where the humidities are generally so low, that most of the rain will just evaporate right out.

Your Photos

YouNews Chasing Rainbow. Chasing Rainbow.
While I was busy working, suddenly I turned my head towards the window to see a perfect rainbow and a cruise ship moving fast towards it. Frantically I grabbed my camera and ran to the balcony to take the shot just when the ship appeared to be entering the rainbow.
YouNews Seattle Couple Embraces Seattle Storm Seattle Couple Embraces Seattle Storm
A lot of guests had trouble getting to Nick and Jane's wedding, but there seemed to be a magical bubble around the wedding itself - sunny and only a few big gusts while safe in the church... until well into the cozy inside Broadmoor Golf Club reception.
YouNews Coudy and windy afternoon Coudy and windy afternoon
I took this photo this afternoon at Kerry Park. It was windy, cloudy and a few drizzles falling at times.