Is Oil Falling From The Skies In Florida?

Posted by | May 27, 2010 15:26 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Thomas Wellborn

A compelling post from a Florida resident claims oil is mixed in with the falling rain in her area.  The claim seems highly unlikely. Therefore, I’ll entertain a few notions further down in the piece.

Making this quick, don’t feel well. About 4:15pm or so eastern, coming back from Tampa, Florida north on Veteran’s Expressway…about 7 miles perhaps from SR 54…it sprinkled some gray watery and solid black oil on my car. Thought it was bugs, but so fast did not make sense and windshield wipers just smeared it. Got out of car at store and looked on the paint and solid black dots on my car…I touch? huh? it’s wet? it’s OIL!!!!!

I had several folks verify it before I sprayed it off and it came off easier than the few love bugs. Two hours later still wet like OIL! nope, not water, smell it, OIL!!!

Anyone on Gulf try not to smear touch it as it is harder to wash off if it happens to you. Bands of storm clouds coming this way from Gulf of Mexico…has not actually rained at least where I have been, just ran through the sprinkle. I smell it now I am inside the house…it’s just hard for me to believe also. One can think of a other things…oh maybe it was a vehicle in front of you…there was no vehicles near me at the time. So coincidence oil spill in the gulf and it rains oil on my car? okay believe what you will…but I know my gut and what happened to me, what I saw, others witnessed, I took pics of (sorry don’t know how to post them, and it photos could be debatable anyway, take my word or not whichever…but we are in deep hocky doo folks.

I was noticing that big black blotch closer to west coast FL on some images that someone posted yesterday on Disasters board…wondering. Well, maybe wrong board but felt more may see it here and ones that live here. Be careful, if it gets on your clothes, pets, hair, eyes, skin…it won’t be so easy to wash off as a well waxed car is.

Not checking this for now, gotta wash out my ears, eyes, nose and lay down…change clothes as I smell it now inside the house on my clothes. I did not smell it while out though and my nose is now desensitizing, but I feel nauseated. I am really sensitive though, some may not be so much or get the heavy warnings I do.

Correlating this alleged occurrence to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill would almost certainly be the explanation to which many would jump, but I was curious how such a heavy molecule could possibly evaporate and/or be carried up into the skies with water.  Some digging around led me to confirm what I had learned in science class also applies to crude oil: Even though crude oil has a much higher evaporation rate than other types of oils, it is still too heavy to be carried up into the atmosphere under normal conditions, even with the use of commonly used dispersants.

That said, a hurricane could make possible the chance for windborne oil particles from sea spray to be moved inland via the atmosphere (h/t NPR).

Dr. KERRY EMANUEL (Professor of Meteorology, MIT): The net result was that when you get up to moderately high wind speeds, the film on the surface just breaks apart as you might guess it would.

HAMILTON: Suggesting that an actual hurricane wouldn’t even be weakened by an oil slick.

And in Emanuel’s experiment, the swirling winds seem to sweep up the oil. So, a hurricane in the Gulf might suck up oil along with sea spray and deposit it on land. Emanuel says it’s all speculation because it’s never happened before.

I have yet to verify whether the specific dispersants currently being used by BP to fight the unprecedented Deepwater Horizon oil spill can cause the degradation of crude oil to reach the point where it can effectively evaporate similarly to water.  Proving this could explain the above person’s claims, as well as send up a red flag warning to BP that further unforeseen disaster potential is a real possibility.

there is the chance for windborne oil particles from sea spray to be moved inland.

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