Earth Science Photo Of The Day..!! 22/12/2011

Virga and Rainfall Traces

Photographer: Top photo -  Stan Celestian; Bottom Photo - Alfred Herbel 
Summary AuthorAlfred HerbelStan CelestianJim Foster

The two photos above show examples of precipitation falling from clouds with most, but not all, of the rainfallevaporating before reaching the surface. In the top photo, taken in the White Tank Mountains near Waddell, Arizona, a column of rain is seen spilling out of a cumulonimbus cloud showing minimal vertical development. Nearly all of this is virga – the rain evaporated in the warm, dry air below the cloud. If you look closely you’ll note that some rain is reaching the surface. The cumulus cloud to the left shows a less remarkable virga shaft, but here the rain doesn’t make it all the way to the ground. Photo taken on September 24, 2011.


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