Winter Weather Preparedness Week: Understanding Wind Chill

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 8:42 AM CST
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Yesterday, we broke down how you can stay safe on the roads during the winter season. As we near the winter season, temperatures will continue to decrease.

You will likely start hearing the term “wind chill” more often as the season gets underway. But what exactly is wind chill?

Wind chill is used to describe what the air temperature feels like on exposed skin. To determine the wind chill, we have to factor in both the temperature and wind speed at a given time. The chart below shows the relationship between temperature and wind speed. The colder the temperature and the greater the wind speed, the colder the wind chill will be.

Wind Chill Chart Curtesy of NOAA
Wind Chill Chart Curtesy of NOAA(HOIABC)

Extreme wind chills can be dangerous, especially if you are unprepared. Frostbite can set in on exposed skin in less than 30 minutes in some scenarios. The best way to protect yourself from wind chills if you need to be outside is to dress warm. Cover any exposed skin and wear several layers. Frostbite often occurs on our toes, fingers, nose and even ears. These are often areas of our bodies we leave exposed.

What to wear in the cold
What to wear in the cold(HOIABC)

If you need to be out driving in extreme cold, it is a good idea to have extra layers or blankets at hand in the event of an emergency to help keep warm.

Keep an eye on our First Alert Weather Blog throughout the rest of the week for more information on Winter Weather Preparedness Week.

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