If that is the case, then you’re probably experiencing the wind chill temperature. The wind chill temperature is the temperature that you feel on your skin when exposed to the outside air. Wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by combined effects of wind and cold. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at an accelerated rate, driving down both the skin temperature and eventually, the internal body temperature. Therefore, the wind makes it feel much colder. If the temperature is 5 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind is blowing at 25 mph, the wind chill is minus 17 degrees. With a wind chill temperature of minus 18 degrees, exposed skin can freeze in 15 minutes.
Viewer Tip: If you’re planning on engaging in extensive outdoor recreation this winter, be sure to check the local forecast for the temperature and wind speed, especially if you’re venturing into higher elevations. Be sure that you are prepared with the proper gear and that you have all of the essentials.
For more information about wind chill and to view the wind chill chart, visit the National Weather Service at www.nws.noaa.gov/om/windchill/. You should also visit www.HikeSafe.com for information on how to prepare for a winter hike.
This information is provided by the Mount Washington Observatory. Learn more at mountwashington.org. Image courtesy of NOAA.