Virga or Fallstreaks, England imaged by Les Cowley.

As far as the eye could see, wispy streaks curved downwards from the sunset lit clouds.
Virga or fall streaks are cloud precipitation that does not reach the ground. They can be rain, snowflakes or halo forming ice crystals.

They can be seen from all levels of cloud but more usually from medium level altocumulus, altostratus and from higher cirrus.

Fallstreaks are characteristically curved or hooked. Differences in wind speed with height (wind shear) can be responsible and another factor is that as the water droplets or ice crystals evaporate and shrink they fall ever more slowly and finally drift horizontally with the wind.


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