One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mass of streaks of rain appearing to hang under a cloud and evaporating before reaching the ground.mass noun ‘the ghostly apparition of virga—an indicator of violent downdraughts’‘a violet virga’
- ‘I kept a wary eye on both for fifteen to twenty minutes while climbing in the last couple thermals and observed that the virga never extended its range closer to the ground.’
- ‘I took one more thermal near Cross Mountain to 16,000 ft and glided to Maybell where I decided to land due to numerous areas of virga and lightning.’
- ‘As benign and pastoral as this scene might appear, areas of virga can produce 65-knot columns of downward tumbling air mass.’
- ‘We can see virga coming out of some of the clouds.’
1940s: from Latin, literally ‘rod, stripe’.
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