Storm Team Forecast: What is the wind chill?

Storm Team Academy

Now that temperatures are getting colder and the wind picks up, you’ll be hearing us talk a lot more about the wind chill. What exactly is the wind chill and how is it calculated?

Our bodies lose heat through convection. When there is little to no wind a layer of that heat remains in our body to help us stay warmer. But, when it’s windy, the moving air breaks up the insulating warm layer in our bodies. This helps speed up heat loss, making us feel much colder.

Non-living things can’t have a wind chill, like a car. But, people and animals sure feel it.

How it is calculated? There’s actually a formula taking into account the wind speed and air temperature which computes what the wind chill will be. When the wind chill dips below 10 degrees you frostbite can happen in 20 to 30 minutes. It is extremely dangerous when the wind chill dips below zero where frostbite can happen in as little as 10 minutes.

Wind chill chart courtesy the National Weather Service

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