View at Community Photos. | The June 1, 2019 dawn sky – with a waning crescent moon and (to the moon’s left) the planet Venus – and with virga extending down from the clouds. Photo taken by Mike Lewinski. Those are the Sangre de Cristo mountains near Taos, New Mexico. Thanks, Mike!

Virga often appears in streaks or shafts extending from the bottoms of clouds. You often see virga over a desert, where low humidity and high temperatures can cause rain to evaporate shortly after being released by clouds. Or you might see virga at high altitudes; in fact, the precipitation often starts out in the form of ice crystals. Virga is commonly seen in the U.S. West and above the Canadian Prairies, in the Middle East, Australia and North Africa. At some northerly latitudes, too – as in the photos from Sweden on this page – virga sometimes paints the sky above.

You are watching: Rain that doesn t reach the ground

The word virga is derived from Latin meaning “twig” or “branch”.

It’s an especially dramatic sight at sunrise or sunset.

The photos on this page are from friends. Enjoy, and share your pics with us on Facebook or submit them here.

Jill Whamond captured this virga in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
In Boden in northern Sweden, by Birgit Bodén.
Virga over Golden Open Space, New Mexico. Photo via Jay Chapman.
Timothy Busch caught this virga at sunset in New Mexico.Susan Jensen captured this image of virga in eastern Washington.Birgit Boden captured virga during a midnight sunset in the month of June, from northern Sweden.

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Ron Ratliff caught this virga near Mexican Hat, Utah.Virga over Montana. Photo via Jessica Gutliph Karr.Virga over west Texas. Photo via Deborah Byrd.Virga over Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Photo via Beth Katz.Virga over Sweden in the month of April. Photo via Jorgen Norrland Andersson.

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Bottom line: Photos of virga, rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground.