Weather Word Wednesday: Virga
QUAD CITIES, Iowa/Ill. (KWQC) - Here’s the official definition from NOAA: “Streaks or wisps of precipitation falling from a cloud but evaporating before reaching the ground.”
If there is enough moisture below the cloud to the surface of the ground, the precipitation, whether it be rain or snow, will reach the ground.
However, if there is a good amount of dry air between the cloud and the ground, the rain or snow from the cloud will evaporate in that layer of dry air, and evaporate before reaching the ground.
The Doppler Radar beam shoots up at an angle as it scans the sky for precipitation, the radar will generally pick up on it. However, if the air is dry and you look out the window, you may not see the precipitation hitting the ground.
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