Warning! Science Content

Sometimes we’re having so much fun, we forget that all of this MythBusting is actually SCIENCE! Follow your curiosity and use the links below to discover more of the science behind the myths at MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition.

 

Running in the Rain

In the exhibit, we created our own perfect storm. We controlled most of the variables in a naturally-occurring rainstorm in order to test just a few. The next time a rainstorm comes your way, consider these variables before pulling on your galoshes:

  • Target Areas – The areas on your body that are exposed to the rain differ depending on your body shape, how you run and the clothes you wear. For example, Jamie and Kari have two very different rain target areas.
  • Running Speed – Keeping this consistent in an outdoor setting can be tricky. Varying your speed will change your results from trial to trial.
  • Running Distance – How far you run will affect how wet you get, running a long distance means more time in the rain.
  • Rain Speed – Raindrops fall at different speeds even within the same storm. In a downpour, rain falls more quickly. In a drizzle, rain falls more slowly. Storms have a combination of slow and fast rain, which will alter your results.
  • Angle of the Rain – Speed and direction of the wind are critical during an outdoor test. Rain can fall straight down or it can come at you sideways. If you run away from rain that is falling sideways, you will get much less wet than if you run into the rain. And to complicate things further, wind speed and direction can change dramatically during a storm.
  • Raindrop Size – Finally, the size of a raindrops in a storm are not always consistent.

Running in a real rain shower is easy, but running an experiment with conclusive results in a rain shower can leave you all wet. Even if all the variables above do not seem important in your particular rain storm, they all can play a part in determining your results.

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