what is it called when rain doesn’t hit the ground

what is it called when rain doesn’t hit the ground

Waning moon, Venus, virga at dawn, over a mountain silhouette.
View at EarthSky Neighborhood Images. | The June 1, 2019 daybreak sky – with a waning crescent moon and (to the moon’s left) the planet Venus – and with virga extending down from the clouds. Picture taken by Mike Lewinski. These are the Sangre de Cristo mountains close to Taos, New Mexico. Thanks, Mike!

Virga usually seems in streaks or shafts extending from the bottoms of clouds. You usually see virga over a desert, the place low humidity and excessive temperatures could cause rain to evaporate shortly after being launched by clouds. Otherwise you would possibly see virga at excessive altitudes; in actual fact, the precipitation usually begins out within the type of ice crystals. Virga is often seen within the U.S. West and above the Canadian Prairies, within the Center East, Australia and North Africa. At some northerly latitudes, too – as within the images from Sweden on this web page – virga generally paints the sky above.

The phrase virga is derived from Latin that means “twig” or “department”.

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It’s an particularly dramatic sight at dawn or sundown.

The images on this web page are from EarthSky associates. Take pleasure in, and share your pics with us on Fb or submit them right here.

Rainbow touching horizon, with colored virga to one side.
View at EarthSky Neighborhood Images. | Right here’s an attention-grabbing one, a virga rainbow. Hazel Holby in Willows, California captured this picture on September 29, 2021. She wrote: “I used to be so shocked to see this rainbow within the rice fields near sundown. There had been solely a hint quantity of rain on this a part of northern California for months. Are you able to inform me how this rainbow managed to kind? Thanks and love your website and Fb web page!” Thanks, Hazel! We requested Les Cowley of the web site Atmospheric Optics. He’s the world knowledgeable of those kinds of sky phenomena. Right here’s his response: “It is a broad bow and likewise of variable width. These recommend that it was made by virga [rain that falls but doesn’t reach the ground] or different very small water droplets within the air. These wouldn’t essentially be seen or felt as rain. The smaller the water drops, the broader the bow. When the drops get right down to mist measurement then we’ve got a fogbow.” Thanks, Les!
Jill Whamond captured this virga in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
In Boden in northern Sweden, by Birgit Bodén.
Virga over Golden Open Space, New Mexico on June 1, 2106. . 6:09 pm. Photo via Jay Chapman.
Virga over Golden Open House, New Mexico. Picture through Jay Chapman.
Timothy Busch caught this virga at sunset in New Mexico.
Timothy Busch caught this virga at sundown in New Mexico.
Susan Jensen captured this image of virga in eastern Washington.
Susan Jensen captured this picture of virga in jap Washington.
Birgit Boden captured virga during a midnight sunset in the month of June, from northern Sweden.
Birgit Boden captured virga throughout a midnight sundown within the month of June, from northern Sweden.
Ron Ratliff caught this virga near Mexican Hat, Utah.
Ron Ratliff caught this virga close to Mexican Hat, Utah.
Virga over Montana, by Jessica Gutliph Karr.
Virga over Montana. Picture through Jessica Gutliph Karr.
Virga over west Texas by Deborah Byrd.
Virga over west Texas. Picture through Deborah Byrd.
Virga over Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Photo via Beth Katz.
Virga over Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Picture through Beth Katz.
Virga over Sweden in the month of April, by Jorgen Norrland Andersson.
Virga over Sweden within the month of April. Picture through Jorgen Norrland Andersson.

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Backside line: Images of virga, rain that evaporates earlier than it reaches the bottom.

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