Awesome Fall Streaks (Virga) Photographed Over New Hampton Look Like Imminent Tornadoes

The awesome fall streaks look like angels looking over us.

Also called Virga, these fantastic clouds were photographed over New Hampton, Iowa on September 14, 2014.

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Is an army of angel heading to earth? Virga over Iowa. Photo: Danny Murphy

Did you also see these strange looking clouds? These are fall streaks or virga…

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This strange clouds look like a tornado that has touched down yet. Photo: Al & Chantal Papousek New Hampton

This weird sky formation are cloud precipitation that does not reach the ground. The streaks can be raindrops, snowflakes or even halo forming ice crystals.

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The twister-like cloud (Virga) in sunset light! Nice! Photo: Darin Balk- Barrel‎ Lawler

When the air beneath the cloud is warmer or otherwise less humid the falling drops evaporate. This was exactly the case over New Hampton, Iowa tonight:

Vertical atmospheric profile over New Hampton was perfect for the formation of Virga clouds over Iowa on December 14, 2014., Vertical atmospheric profile over New Hampton was perfect for the formation of Virga clouds over Iowa
Vertical atmospheric profile over New Hampton was perfect for the formation of Virga clouds over Iowa on December 14, 2014.

The fall streak’s characteristic hooked shape arises because drops fall progressively slower as they shrink. For small drops in laminar flow the downward velocity varies as the square of their diameter – Thus the downward velocity reduces rapidly as the drops get smaller.

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Yeah! I love the curvy and elongated shape of this weird atmospheric phenomenon. Photo: Shelly Tierney

While this is happening the wind carries the fall streaks sideways. After almost complete evaporation, the streak’s tail is almost horizontal. Did you also see these weird clouds in the sky?

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