If you stepped outside while the wind is blowing, you probably noticed it feels a bit chiller than what the thermometer says. During the winter months, meteorologists describe this as the wind chill temperature.
Wind chill temperature is what it feels like outside when you take the air temperature and factor in the wind. Theoretically, the wind chill temperature represents what the air temperature would have to be in order to get the same feeling of coldness if the wind was calm.
For example, if it is 30°F with a 10 mile-per-hour (mph) sustained wind, the wind chill temperature is 21°F. So a 10mph wind at 30°F would feel the same if the air temperature was 21°F with a calm wind.
You can estimate the wind chill too in 3 easy steps!
- Take your right pointer finger and move across the top row to the current air temperature.
- Take your left pointer finger and move down the farthest column on the left to the current wind speed.
- Move your right finger down and your left finger to the right until they touch. The temperature they meet at is your wind chill temperature.
Looking at the chart more closely, we see the background color changes. These colors represent the amount of time it would take someone with exposed skin to the air to get frostbite, an injury related the freezing of a person’s skin and underlying tissue.
Regardless if the wind chill temperature is within the frostbite times, be sure to always dress appropriately for the weather and go inside if you are feeling cold.
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