You've probably heard us meteorologists use the term "wind chill" or maybe "feels like" temperature. Well what exactly does this mean and how exactly are these values calculated?

Like the heat index in the summer, wind chills are taking a combination of what the air temperature is and factoring in the wind speed at a certain location. These values are always lower than the actual air temperature.

Looking more at the science behind a wind chill, the wind will begin to strip away at the thin layer of warm air above your skin. When winds are stronger, more heat is lost from your body which will leave you more susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. This is why dressing in layers is very important.

Frostbite is the process of body tissue freezing. This can occur on exposed skin when wind chills are -15 degrees Fahrenheit or colder in 30 minutes or less. 

Hypothermia can occur when your core body temperature drops to below 95 degrees Fahrenheit when normal body temperatures are roughly 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

There is a mathematical formula meteorologists use to calculate wind chill. But to make matters more simple, here's a simplified visual chart you can use to determine the wind chill in your location. Simply find what the air temperature and current wind speed are for your area. Your wind chill value will be where the lines drawn from the two intersect.

Wind Chill Chart


Now that we know more about wind chills, the forecast is showing high air temperatures for the middle of next week to stay in the single digits. Some locations may stay below zero. Low air temperatures will fell like the negative single digits and teens. Wind chills will be feeling below zero with lows feeling like -20 to -35.

We're in jeopardy of breaking several record lows that we're set back in the 90s. Please take this dangerously cold weather very serious.

Here are some tips we always try to remind people about when temperatures are this cold..

-Wear plenty of layers,

-Limit the duration and amounts of time spent outdoors to a minimum. 

-Try to have the least amount of exposed skin as possible if you have to venture outdoors.

-Remember to bring in pets as well as check in on friends and family to make sure everyone can have a warm place to live and sleep in.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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