Author: Mary Knapp

While rain has been in the news the last several weeks, not everyone is getting the same amounts. The radar is showing rain should be overhead, but it’s not getting your car wet? What is happening? The wisps or streaks of water falling out of the clouds are evaporating before they reach the ground. This is known as virga. You can frequently see virga trailing from altocumulus or altostratus clouds. Sometimes, it can be seen from cumuliform clouds as the precipitation evaporates closer to the surface. Indeed, sometimes you can feel the raindrops on your head, but never see them hit the sidewalk.

Virga (Weather Data Library Archives)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library