Article - pre-print
A numerical model of 100 m and 200 m world class sprinting performances is modified using standard hydrodynamic principles to include effects of air temperature, pressure, and humidity levels on aerodynamic drag. The magnitude of the effects are found to be dependent on wind speed. This implies that differing atmospheric conditions can yield slightly different corrections for the same wind gauge reading. In the absence of wind, temperature is found to induce the largest variation in times (0.01 s per 10◦C increment in the 100 m), while relative humidity contributes the least (under 0.01 s for all realistic conditions for 100 m). Barometric pressure variations at a particular venue can also introduce fluctuations in performance times on the order of a 0.01 s for this race. The combination of all three variables is essentially additive, and is more important for headwind conditions that for tail-winds. As expected, calculated corrections in the 200 m are 1 magnified due to the longer duration of the race. The overall effects of these factors on sprint times can be considered a “second order” adjustment to previous methods which rely strictly on a venue’s physical elevation, but can become important in extreme conditions.
This is an author-manuscript of an article accepted for publication in Canadian Journal Of Physics. The version of record: Mureika J. The effects of temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure on short-sprint race times. Canadian Journal Of Physics. April 2006;84(4):311-324 is available online at DOI: 10.1139/P06-057.
Mureika, J. R. (2006). The effects of temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure on short-sprint race times. Canadian Journal Of Physics, 84(4), 311-324. doi:10.1139/P06-057