Virga is precipitation falling from a cloud which evaporates before it reaches the ground. It can take the form of rain or snow, or other types of precipitation. Virga is common in dry areas, or at the start of a storm. It takes the form of streamers falling from a cloud and tapering off, often in a wedge shape - virga is sometimes mistaken for a stout tornado. Virga can be extremely beautiful backlit by the setting sun. It is common out of desert thunderstorms - on a hot, dry day you will see the storms building, feel the moist wind blowing from their bases and hear abundant thunder. However, the rain often evaporates far above the ground. Sometimes, under a storm of this sort, the evaporation of the water will kick up large dust storms and gust fronts. Thunder and lightning may still be frequent, and fires may be created by the dry storms. Having rain so close above your head, yet so distant, is one of the paradoxes that makes the desert so amazing (and frustrating, if you are running out of water)

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