Originally Posted by beowulff
I've seen this many times. If you direct a stream of water into a pool of water, at just the right volume / velocity, the stream will break up when it hits the surface, and little balls of water will go skittering across the surface. Some of them can last for quite a while (seconds), before they "pop" and get absorbed into the body of water.
There was a really cool photo of something like this in Science News
last July 28th. Unfortunately, it's a subscriber-only link. It shows a stream of oil falling into a rotating pan of the same stuff. The stream "bounces" twice, forming a couple of arches like a sea serpent before finally slipping in past the surface tension.
The paper describing it is supposed to be in Physical Review E
When I read the OP, though, I thought he meant the droplets were floating in air above his hood. I don't think I've seen that, unless the car was moving and they were caught in laminar flow above the turbulent air?