THE EFFECT OF OIL ON STORMS

Hurricane season begins June 1.


Over the years it has often been suggested that a hurricane’s fury may be reduced by cutting of the storm’s source of moisture by coating the ocean surface with some form of oil. This proposal is doomed because the raging ocean waves would create breaks in the oily film that would still allow the storm to extract heat and moisture from the tropical waters.

However, the Gulf of Mexico is a site where tropical storms occasionally develop in June. If the film of oil persists at that time, it would reduce the evaporation of water from the ocean surface in some places, cutting off some of the fuel that would have been a factor in tropical storm development at that location.

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