Run in the rain

It was wet and cold in the city yesterday.
I was walking in the rain. A woman in heels click clacked past me and then slipped and went down on her knees. I helped her up. It was more her dignity that was damaged.
Most women run (or move quickly) in the rain. Maybe they don’t want their hair to go all frizzy. Then again, many blokes also move quickly through the rain.
It’s an instinctive thing; run or move quicker in the rain.
But it’s pointless!
Years ago when I was studying mathematics, physics and hydrology, we modelled rain with the intent of discovering how much drier people are if they run through the rain. The model’s assumptions were:
  • The rain was vertical
  • The rain had distinct drops (and not a bucket downpour like in the tropics)
  • There was no wind
  • The person was walking at a comfortable pace (and not dawdling)

The finding was:
  • If you run or move quickly through the rain you will get the same amount of wetness as if you were walking at a normal pace.
  • High winds and non-vertical rain will change the outcome and you might get less wet by running through the rain; or you might get more wet.

So, if it’s raining, just continue walking; don’t run.
You will get the same amount of water; and it is a lot safer.
If your hair is prone to going frizzy, then wear a hat.


  1. sounds like a sensible tip.
    I'll try it next time it rains.
    But, I'll never know if I actually got less wet.

  2. I believe you.
    It sorta makes sense.
    But I will still try to move quickly.

  3. Aargh, the beauty and simplicity of applied mathematics.


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