Which will keep you drier, running through the rain or walking?

I think what determines the amount of soaking you experience when you cover the distance from A to B (dx) in the rain are the following factors:

A) apparent speed (Va) f the rain, consisting of two factors

  • The vertical velocity (Vv) of the rain falling down
  • your horizontal movement speed (Vh)
    where Va² = Vv² + Vh² => Va = SQR(Vv² + Vh²)

(Assuming that the intensity of the rain is constant over for the duration of the walk, the soaking per second is proportional to Va.)

B) The time exposed to the rain, which is dx / Vh.

As only relative soaking at different speeds is to be compared, the absolute intensity of the rain can be ignored in the calculation.

So the overall relative Soaking (S) at speed Vh is:
S(Vh) = SQR(Vv² + Vh²) * dx / Vh

With walking speed Vh approximating Zero, the soaking converges to the Y-axis, meaning infinite wetting.

With walking speed Vh approximating infinity, we get:
S(Vh)-> Vh * dx / Vh

so approaching infinite speed the soaking is the minimal amount based only on the distance.

Conclusion: Run if you don’t want to get too wet.

Hope this helps :wink:

Sascha Pawlowski

Welcome to the SDMB. A link to the column is appreciated. Which will keep you drier, running through the rain or walking?

pawlowski, welcome to the boards. When posting to this forum please include a link to the article you are refering to.

Which will keep you drier, running through the rain or walking?

Welcome to the SDMB, and thank you for posting your comment.
Please include a link to Cecil’s column if it’s on the straight dope web site.
To include a link, it can be as simple as including the web page location in your post (make sure there is a space before and after the text of the URL).

Cecil’s column can be found on-line at the link provided by bibliophage and Amp.

The column (including Slug Signorino’s illustration) can also be found on pages 395-398 of Cecil Adams’ book «Return of the Straight Dope».

moderator, «Comments on Cecil’s Columns»

More food for thought: other threads in this forum on the subject. (These threads date from before the forum software conversion, so you may see some obsolete “formatting codes” and the order of the posts may be jumbled up.)

Walking and Running in the Rain

run vs. walk contriversy.

Run vs. Walk controversy

Do you get more wet runnign then walking trough rain?