Have you ever experienced a windy day where it felt much colder than the thermometer suggested? More than likely you experienced the wind chill effect. Meteorologists on television are always highlighting the wind chill during cold and windy outbreaks. Wind chill is an effective way to describe what the body is actually feeling in terms of temperature. Your body is constantly producing heat and releasing it to the outside world from exposed skin. Wind increases the rate at which your body releases this heat causing your body to “feel” much colder than the actual air temperature may suggest. Inanimate objects such as a car radiator or water pipes for a house cannot go below the current temperature so wind chill does not directly affect those objects. However, wind chill can decrease the amount of time that it takes for those objects to cool.
A formula was developed to calculate wind chill and has gone through many revisions since its first discovery. Extensive research allowed for the wind chill factor to be updated in 2001 which is still the current formula that is used today. Shown below is the graph showing wind chill in relation to wind speed and temperature. The best defense against the chilling grip of wind chill is to dress appropriately if you are outside. Several layers of clothes and covering up all exposed areas including the face are important. These actions can prevent hypothermia and frostbite.