LINCOLN CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — Wispy finger-like clouds slowly pushed onshore Saturday evening near Lincoln City.
This weather event is known as “virga.” A thin layer of dry air sometimes finds its way near the surface. Rain falls from low-hanging clouds, but as the precipitation falls into that layer of dry air it evaporates.
Rain or any form of precipitation can be seen from a distance. This sight is usually known as a “precipitation shaft.” Virga is only half of the precipitation shaft because the other half is lost to evaporation.
There are no real impacts associated with virga, other than visually exciting clouds and sometimes colder air under the virga. The newly evaporated moisture cools and sinks beneath the cloud. Sometimes dropping the temperature briefly in an isolated area.