Ever notice that you “feel” colder in the winter if the wind is blowing? This is due to the windchill effect. It combines the cooling effect of temperature and wind which then drives down the “perceived” temperature. As the wind speed increases, it draws the heat from the body causing skin temperature and, eventually, internal body temperatures to do down. The wind is not changing the temperature of the air it’s changing the temperature of your body. For example: a temperature of 0° F and a wind speed of 15 mph will produce a windchill temperature of -19°. Under these conditions, exposed skin can freeze in 30 minutes.
Our body keeps a “buffer” or think layer of air next to our skin to help regulate our body temperature of 98.6°F. A strong wind can disrupt this buffer layer making us feel colder, potentially leading to hypothermia, frostbite or death.
Hypothermia occurs when the body’s temperature drops too low causing uncontrollable shivering, disorientation and incoherence. Get medical attention immediately. If you can’t get help quickly:
Windchill Safety Tips
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