Caught in a downpour with no umbrella?
It may be the instinct to run, but you are at the risk of running into falling drops along the way, although running will get you from the rain quicker; and therein lies the problem. Now, the go-ahead is given by science: in most cases…
Running as fast as possible is the best approach to staying dryer according to a professor of engineering at the University of Brescia in Italy, Franco Bocci. Reporting in the European Journal of Physics, Bocci has indicated that the best travel speed changes depending on how thin you are, the wind speed, raindrop size and the angle between your route and the wind direction. Combinations of these variables set a travel rate, which might be slower than a sprint.
However, in a pinch, do it.
A couple of points worth remembering are:
- If the wind is blowing in the same direction as you, try to run at the same speed as the wind. That’s the pace where you feel the least wind (and rain) smacking against you.
- If the wind is hitting you at an angle, run. (The bigger the angle, the more you need to hustle.) Your side profile offers the most surface area to get wet.
The calculations of Bocci follow a tradition of physicists trying to discover the optimal travelling strategy. Experiments in history sometimes have a tendency to simplify the issue, and consequently, have produced simple answers, Bocci says his work shows how complex the running versus walking problem is, and he says that the response will become more complex the more variables physicists take into consideration.
However, as far as you are concerned, run, do not walk to the cover. Or, take an umbrella.