MAY 12, 1997
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Forecast: Cooler ahead, but no rain. After some very warm temperatures earlier this week, high pressure has weakened and some marine air has invaded to cool it off a shade, but only for a few days. We will still see sunshine with some of the clouds. Temperatures will remain near 70, then the high will rebuild for the weekend to warm it up a tad with more sunshine. At this point, I don't see any rain ahead. Looks like another outdoor weekend.
Weather Question of the Week: What is virga?
Answer: Not all rain which falls lands on your picnic. Virga is rainfall which evaporates before it hits the ground. The flat base of a shower cloud may hover about 5,000 feet above the earth during the summer, so the rain has to fall about a mile before it hits. If the drops fall through a dry layer of air, they may evaporate and disappear into vapor before they hit the ground. You can observe this looking at distant showers and notice the gray shafts of rain trailing below. When they vanish before they hit the ground, it's virga.