Understanding Wind Chill Factors

Jerry Walch By Jerry Walch, 1st Nov 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/djccdskf/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Nature>Weather

A writer should never assume anything when writing for a general readership. I like to think that I always keep that truism foremost in mind when I write articles that will appear in a nonprofessional publication, but I slip up on occasion. I recently wrote an article on winter camping for a well-known publication for seniors. In that article I mentioned keeping the wind chill factor in mind when selecting clothing. I didn’t think I had to explain what a wind chill factor was. I was wrong.

Is it Really That Cold Outside?

In some places understanding wind chill and knowing how to calculate it is nothing more needful than a bit of meteorological trivia. While in other places, understanding wind chill factors, how they affect the human body and knowing how to calculate them can mean the difference between life and death in the great outdoors. If you spend time in the great outdoors, understanding the effects of wind chill can keep you safe from frostbite, hypothermia and even death. The actual temperature can give you a false sense of safety when the wind chill can make the temperature appear to be 10, 20, even 30 or more degrees colder than the thermometer says that it is. As far as your body is concerned, the wind chill temperature is the real temperature.

Factors Affecting Wind Chill Factors.

There are two basic factors involved in determining wind chill—the still air temperature and the velocity that the air is moving in relationship to your body. Calculating the wind chill factor using a wet bulb and a dry bulb thermometer can be tricky, wind chill factor charts like the one shown above simplifies matters tremendously. To use the chart, locate where the wind velocity and air temperature intersect and read the chill factor.

How Fast Does the Human Skin Freeze?

Always dress appropriately for the temperatures and wind chill factors that you are encountering. Never stay out for extended periods of time in extremely cold weather no matter how appropriately you are dressed. The human skin begins to freeze at -25 degrees Celsius or -13 degrees Fahrenheit and can freeze in a matter of minutes at -35 degrees Celsius or – 31 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tags

Weather, Weather Conditions, Weather Education, Weather Predicted, Weather Winter, Wind, Wind Chill, Wind Chill Effects, Wind Chill Factor

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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Comments

author avatar waterhorse
1st Nov 2013 (#)

Thank you for passing along some valuable information.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
1st Nov 2013 (#)

My pleasure waterhorse.

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author avatar Carol
1st Nov 2013 (#)

That was very interesting and also important, many thanks Jerry

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author avatar Jerry Walch
1st Nov 2013 (#)

Thanks for reading and commenting, Carol.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
1st Nov 2013 (#)

Ditto -- wind chill makes a huge difference locally, just as humidity or lack thereof can affect temperature. And while one would think that someone shopping for gear would be aware of these things -- well, let's just say that some humans never cease to amaze me with what is unknown. You are very patient to teach them in such a straightforward manner. Good work!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
1st Nov 2013 (#)

Thank you Phyl for your kind words.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
1st Nov 2013 (#)

Jerry, this is valuable information which once again may save somebody's life. Thanks for sharing such important information.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
1st Nov 2013 (#)

Thank you Connie for reading and commenting.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
1st Nov 2013 (#)

Jerry thank you for explaining this so succinctly...we all need to know how to take care of our bodies...

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author avatar Jerry Walch
1st Nov 2013 (#)

Thank you Carolina for reading and for the kind words.

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author avatar M G Singh
1st Nov 2013 (#)

Thanks Jerry for an educative post

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author avatar Jerry Walch
1st Nov 2013 (#)

Welcome, Madan.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
2nd Nov 2013 (#)

Good morning, Jerry. Above and beyond the important information regarding the subject of wind chill, your emphasis on not assuming your readers know about "subject specific language" is equally important. I probably err on the side of redundant with examples, however, I would rather be accurate and know I have explained something correctly. Thanks for the article. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Jerry Walch
2nd Nov 2013 (#)

Hi Marilyn,
I agree completely and more often than not I do become redundant in my explanations as well. Nevertheless, we are only human and we do all occasionally assume knowledge on the part of our reader that he or she doesn't have. What's that old saying, "To err is human, to forgive is divine?" We need to divine enough to forgive our self when we err and hope that our readers will find it in their hearts to forgive us as well.All we can do beyond what we are already doing is to hope and pray that the occasional error that slips by us causes no one physical or emotional harm.

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author avatar iidob
4th Nov 2013 (#)

very informative,Well written and really decorative

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author avatar Jerry Walch
6th Dec 2013 (#)

Thanks for reading and commenting.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
5th Nov 2013 (#)

Nice post!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
6th Dec 2013 (#)

Thank you.

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author avatar Ptrikha
6th Nov 2013 (#)

Great technical information!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
6th Dec 2013 (#)

Thank you for the positive comments.

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author avatar Legend
6th Dec 2013 (#)

great post. i see you are writing great chilly articles! thanks for sharing

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author avatar Jerry Walch
6th Dec 2013 (#)

I have an even chillier series of articles to come.

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