FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – What is Virga?
It’s precipitation. Most rain falling from clouds reaches the ground. Virga falls through dry air, so the rain evaporates before hitting the ground. It will show up on our Dorsett Automotive Doppler Radar, but it never makes it to your yard.
What about other types of precipitation? In the winter we see a variety of precipitation.
When there’s cold air aloft and snowflakes fall into warmer air, the flakes melt and we get rain.
Freezing rain requires cold air aloft with the snowflakes falling into warm air. The flakes melt into supercooled raindrops freezing on contact with cold surfaces. Think untreated pavement, trees and power lines. Freezing rain can be dangerous.
Sleet begins it’s journey as snow, melts to liquid form in warmer air, then refreezes as it falls through a thick layer of cold air. You’ll know it’s sleet because sleet tends to bounce on contact.
Finally, snow. Those are ice crystals falling to the surface when the entire atmospheric column is sufficiently cold.
Freezing Rain: https://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Freezing_rain