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Winter Awareness: Wind Chill!

As a segment of Winter Weather Awareness Week, wind chills are Wednesday's hot topic. Wind chill is explained and the dangers are outlined in this blog.
The wind chill can make a HUGE difference during the colder months!

By definition from the American Meteorological Society's Glossary of Meteorology:

Wind Chill:

The portion of the cooling of a human body caused by air motion.

Air motion accelerates the rate of heat transfer from a human body to the surrounding atmosphere, especially when temperatures are below about 7°C (45°F).

An easy way to remember what wind chill means is this: What it feels like. The 'feels like' skin temperature can be a lot colder than that air temperature as well.

Reference the chart above. The wind chill chart is very useful when planning to go outside in the elements. Go to the air temperature on the top, then the most recent wind speed, and find what it feels like outside.

Wind chills can be deadly through frostbite and hypothermia. These can sneak up on you quickly too. Signs of frostbite include white and numb areas on the surface of the skin, while hypothermia happens when your body cannot make heat fast enough to keep warm. When you go out this fall/winter/spring dress for the wind chill, not just the temperature. Our SkyTracker Meteorologists will forecast the wind chills too, in order to help you plan your day and layers. As long as you're covered up with several layers, mostly loosely fitting, you should be okay. However if you feel any sense of pain, discomfort, or dizziness/nausea get to a warmer place!

In the near term we'll have some pretty 'chilly' wind chills Thursday, October 24. Temperatures will range from 35 to 45 degrees for much of the day, with sustained winds 10-20 mph from the west gusting to 25 mph. That will make it feel like the 20s to 30s for a lot of the day!

Winter Weather Awareness Week continues through Saturday, October 26. Check out our weather blogs for more information regarding that, plus your full forecast updated daily!
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier

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