Meaning of virga in English:


Pronunciation /ˈvəːɡə/

nounplural noun virgae/ˈvəːɡiː/

  • A mass of streaks of rain appearing to hang under a cloud and evaporating before reaching the ground.

    mass noun ‘the ghostly apparition of virga—an indicator of violent downdraughts’
    • ‘a violet virga’
    • ‘I kept a wary eye on both for fifteen to twenty minutes while climbing in the last couple thermals and observed that the virga never extended its range closer to the ground.’
    • ‘As benign and pastoral as this scene might appear, areas of virga can produce 65-knot columns of downward tumbling air mass.’
    • ‘I took one more thermal near Cross Mountain to 16,000 ft and glided to Maybell where I decided to land due to numerous areas of virga and lightning.’
    • ‘We can see virga coming out of some of the clouds.’


1940s from Latin, literally ‘rod, stripe’.