Neat Weather Tidbit – Virga, The Mysterious Vanishing Snow

Hello everyone!

Back again this evening with another neat tidbit about Maine weather, this time: the term/phenomenon Virga.

I tweeted this afternoon about a neat phenomenon I observed known to the weather community as virga. Very cold air aloft and some slight daytime heating at the surface combined to create some instability clouds/showers today across the area. Many areas saw their first flakes today but here in Yarmouth, extremely dry air at the surface prevented any flakes from making it to the ground though plenty were seen falling high above.

2015-10-18_17-35-06

Virga occurs when precipitation falls out of a cloud into a very dry atmosphere below the cloud. The precip then evaporates leading to a dry surface while a healthy shower occurs above. This phenomenon creates a neat visual effect similar to a paintbrush running out of paint mid stroke as the precip gradually fades away.

Here are some more pictures of the Virga here in Yarmouth.

Another chilly night is on the way so keep fragile plants indoors through tomorrow.

-Jack

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