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What was behind Thursday’s cloud formation in Abbotsford?

Alexandra Fontaine - Abbotsford

A beautiful – and unusual – cloud formation sent residents of Abbotsford to their smartphones Thursday night.

Global BC received dozens of photos from viewers of the pink cloud that dominated the city’s skyline last night, but few were certain what caused the strange shape underneath it.

Global BC senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon says it was a weather phenomenon known as a virga, which happens when there is precipitation from a cloud, but it dries up in the air.

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“Last night’s cloud was so interesting because of two reasons: the rain is actually evaporating before it hits the ground…[and] the rain streaks are lit up beautifully since the sun was so low on the horizon and just about to set,” says Gordon.

“It is possible some rain drops are hitting the ground but that the sun is only lighting half (or part) of the rain drop’s trip down to the ground.”

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