The Weather Page

May 24, 2007

Bill Sauerwein lives in Phoenix in Baltimore County and watches weather radar. "Several times ... it showed rain over my area, which had no discernible precipitation. Does the radar pick up high-level moisture that for some reason doesn't reach the ground?" he asks. Yes. Rain or snow that forms aloft and evaporates as it falls through drier air below, is called "virga." National Weather Service radar in Sterling, Va., can't see what's happening below 4,000 feet at the 60-mile distance to Phoenix, because of the curvature of the Earth.

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