Should You Walk or Run in the Rain?

Man Running in Rain

Share: 

Rate this Post: 

Average: 3.3 (12 votes)

It’s storm season. You finish dinner at a restaurant and it’s suddenly pouring.  You gaze at your car parked not so far away.  Is it better to walk or run in the rain?

Believe it or not, scientists have debated this for years.  If you run you get there faster, so less rain hits you.  But meanwhile you’re slamming more frontwise into the droplets, making them preferentially strike your chest and legs.  If you’d walked, they’d mostly hit your head and shoulders, which offer less surface.

Is this logic correct? Do you get wetter walking or running in the rain?

In the late eighties, an Italian physicist calculated that running through a rain storm would keep you 10% drier than walking.  Barely any difference. Hardly worth the effort, especially since you’d be more likely to slip and fall.  Then in 1995 a British researcher decided that walking is better, because the drenching of your entire front side would negate the slight benefit of getting there faster.

The next year, two North Carolina climatologists put the whole issue to an actual test.  They each wore identical clothing and water measuring equipment.  One of them ran 100 meters through a downpour while the other simultaneously walked.  Result?  The one who walked was 40% wetter.

Bottom line: run to the car.

But you already instinctively knew that, didn’t you?

About This Blog

Welcome to “This Week’s Amazing Sky,” the Almanac’s blog on stargazing and astronomy. Wondering which bright objects you’re seeing in the night sky? Want to learn about a breathtaking sight coming up? Bob Berman, longtime and famous astronomer for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, will help bring alive the wonders of our universe. From the beautiful stars and planets to magical auroras and eclipses, we’ll cover everything under the Sun (and Moon)!

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Walk or Run

I say walk in the rain and enjoy it if it is not a deluge where you could drown if walking, but if you are going to run be sure to have good shoes for running in the rain or you could suffer something worse than getting wet. I love rain walks. It is very refreshing as it is meant to be.

Check the weather first

I think it is easier to be watchful when you are walking. Check the weather forecast before you leave home.

I can't believe scientists

I can't believe scientists have time to discuss this! Who pays them for this!

Walking or running in the rain

I say walk and enjoy playing in the rain...this way you slow down and what is it going to hurt if you get wet anyway? It's not like we melt.

i think this is a good paper

i think this is a good paper about this problem

google:
Run or walk in the rain? (Orthogonal projected area of ellipsoid) figshare

Forget speed; instead measure

Forget speed; instead measure time. Slower you walk, longer the exposure, wetter you get. Runner will be drier.

Wet is wet no matter the

Wet is wet no matter the coverage.

Walking with a big umbrella

Walking with a big umbrella is always best,..lol.
Be prepared! Boy Scout's rule.

Keep Your New Garden Growing

keepgardengrowingcover.jpgTop 10 Veggies.
Almanac Editors Tips- water, feed, pest control, harvest
 

 

You will also be subscribed to our Almanac Companion Newsletter

solar_array.jpg

Solar Energy Production Today

49.90 kWh

Live data from the solar array at The Old Farmer's Almanac offices in Dublin, NH.