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  • Writer's pictureKyle Sooley-Brookings

What is Wind Chill?

Updated: May 15

In the winter we typically see the temperature and wind chill. Sometimes the numbers are far apart. But what is wind chill?

To put it simply wind chill is what you will actually feel if outside. The wind is used in calculating the wind chill.

If the temperature is minus 5 and the wind is calm it will feel like minus 5. But if the temperature was minus 5 and the winds were gusting to 30 km/h for example the wind chill would be minus 13.

Wind chill chart

Environment Canada says that more than 80 people die from over-exposure to the cold every year in Canada, and many more suffer injuries resulting from hypothermia and frostbite.

There are two types of cold weather related alerts in Canada. There are arctic outflow warnings, only issued in coastal British Columbia. And extreme cold warnings, the criteria for extreme cold warnings vary from region to region.

Extreme cold can cause medical problems as well. Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops below 37°C. Symptoms include shivering, confusion and loss of muscular control. Hypothermia can be a life-threatening condition where shivering stops or the person loses consciousness. Cardiac arrest may occur.

Frostnip is a mild form of frostbite, where only the skin freezes and appears yellowish or white, but feels soft to the touch. A painful tingling or burning sensation may occur.

Frostbite is a more serious condition. Frostbite occurs when both the skin and the underlying tissue are frozen. The skin appears white and waxy and is hard to the touch. There will be no sensation and the area is numb.

In an emergency call 911.

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