About Running in the Rain

Find out using the Running In The Rain Calculator.

A summation of some basic considerations to determine if it is worth running in the rain. Enter the various parameters about yourself and the rainfall and see how wet you would get while running to a shelter.

or cm

WIDTH - shoulder to shoulder:
or cm

WIDTH - chest to back:
or cm

You present the following target areas:

From the top:
square cm

From the side:
square cm

From the front or back:
square cm
* Singing and running in the rain.
Enter Your Speed: (1 m/s is strolling, 10 m/s is an olympic sprint) m/s
Distance to Shelter: (1 m almost the same as 1 yard) m
It will take you seconds to get to shelter.

Rain Speed: (2 m/s is a drizzle, 9 m/s for large drops) m/s

Rain's Vertical Angle to the Front: (0 for straight down, 90 for completely horizontal. The larger this is the more rain hits you in the face or back when you are standing still. Use negative numbers for rain hitting you from behind.) o

Rain's Vertical Angle to the Side: o

Your numbers above mean the windspeed is:

Amount of Rainfall per hour: mm (3 mm is about 1/8")

Amount or rain which will hit you:

  1. From the top: ml
  2. From the side: ml
  3. From the front/back: ml
  4. In total: ml
Try a few variations in your speed and other conditions to see how much difference it makes.

** Some results will surprise you. Try various running speeds with the wind behind you. You stay the driest by running at about the same speed as the wind (basically turning it into vertical rain so you only get wet on the top). Try shape numbers that are more like your dog or cat and your results will be quite different - much more of their surface get the vertical component of the rain fall.

ExactWeather.com   (Not exact but close.)

Walking Down The Sidewalk Changes Your Perspective Or World View. Why?

Wind Speed Unit Converter 

2.2 mph = 1 m/s   3.2 mph = 1.4 m/s (Average walking speed)  3.5 mph = 1.6 m/s    4.5 mph = 2 m/s    6 mph = 2.7 m/s   8 mph = 3.6 m/s  10 mph = 4.5 m/s

Go to ExactWeather.com  to find the wind speed in your area to stay the driest by running at about the same speed as the wind. This is assuming the rain is hitting you from the top.

(A 2.0m/s or 4.5 mph wind can shave about 0.10 seconds faster than a 0.0 wind. This would be if it was hitting your back and it is not raining.)

It seems that as soon as rain starts to fall, people speed up their pace. There could be many reasons for this but one is the expectation that by running - or at least walking faster - they will arrive drier at their destination.

If you add the rate the droplets hit your top and front areas, you now have droplets/second - so multiply this by the amount of time you will be in the rain - d/v. A few comparisons might lead you to worry less about how fast you run, but there are a lot of cases to consider: wind in your face, wind from behind, wind from the side, drizzle vs downpour, and the various possible running speeds.

As an object falls through air, it starts to experience drag forces. The higher its speed, the more resisting drag. It will eventually reach a "terminal velocity" where the drag force equals its weight, hence there is zero net force and it stops accelerating. The value of the terminal velocity depends on the size, shape and mass of the object.

For raindrops at sea level, the range of terminal velocities is 2 m/s (0.5 mm drop - drizzle) up to 9 metres per second (5 mm drop - downpour).

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