Phantom Rain That Never Falls

Phantom Rain That Never Falls

In especially hot and dry climates, it can rain without water ever hitting the ground. This phenomenon is called virga, or "phantom rain," and resembles tails hanging below a cloud from afar. Because deserts have high temperatures and low humidity, virga tends to occur, the rain evaporating high in the sky.


from Nikola Slavkovic

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Rain starts out as tiny droplets, and grow larger as they move through the water droplets inside the cloud. (0:10)

  • 2

    Especially in hot climates, phantom rain can exist, which is rain that evaporates before hitting the ground. (0:43)

  • 3

    HD 189733b is a planet in the "little fox" constellation where it rains glass sideways at 4,500 mph. (1:18)

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