Is it raining oil in River Ridge, Louisiana?† It’s not impossible. Arguments against the idea that oil can end up in rainfall are based upon the premise that oil does not evaporate. Except, oil does evaporate–not at the same rate as water for instance, but oil does evaporate. Several sources confirm this:
“Evaporation of Oil Spills” by Merv Fingas, MMS
“Oil Behavior and Toxicity” NOAA
And check out MSNBC’s great graphic illustating the eight “weathering” aspects of an oil spill and how they change in importance over time.† 20% to 60% of crude oil evaporates during the weathering process.
What could be happening is that it’s raining oil chemical dispersant. From Care2 blogger Beth Buczynski’s “BP’s Dispersant Could Cause Toxic Rain All Over East Coast“
“Dr. Remata Reddy, who studies and teaches tropical meteorology at Jackson State University:
Tropical storms usually form in the far eastern Atlantic early in the season. But as the Gulf heats and the oil continues to spill into the open waters, that concern and storm potential will grow together, Reddy said.As oil evaporates and comes into contact with a tropical storm, the chances of acid rain falling within the storm are possible, Reddy said.”
This resident of River Ridge, Louisiana claims that there was no oil in the recent rainfall.
Who’s right? Who knows. But it’s clear that toxic rain is possible whether from oil or the chemical dispersants BP is using in its clean up efforts.
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