The windchill index is used to calculate how cold air feels on exposed skin, taking into account the actual air temperature as well as the speed of the wind.
Understanding the windchill, its effects on the body and how to stay safe in cold-windchill conditions is important for everyone, but perhaps even more so for people like hunters, snowmobilers and ice fishermen, who spend a fair amount of time in the outdoors during the wintertime.
In cold and windy conditions, when the windchill factor comes into play, it’s perhaps most vital to note that the risk of frostbite increases significantly. Take a look at the chart below to learn more about how temperature and wind speed affect frostbite time:
Click here to see a larger view of the National Weather Service Windchill Chart.
As you can see from the chart above, cold-weather conditions become much more dangerous when wind is present.
To keep yourself and loved ones safe in cold-windchill conditions, adhere to the following:
- Always check the forecast before setting out into the cold; dress appropriately by utilizing warm, lightweight layers and winter garments.
- Keep skin from being exposed to the elements – both wind and water – by covering up with such items as windproof outerwear, boots, gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, hoods and/or balaclavas.
- Know the signs of frostbite, which include skin that feels hard or waxy, prickliness or itching, numbness, and white or grayish-yellow skin.
- Limit the time you spend outdoors.
Note that some are more sensitive to cold than others, including children, the elderly, those with circulation issues, those taking certain kinds of medications and those who have used tobacco or alcohol, according to the Canada Safety Council. Take special precautions if you or your loved ones fall into these categories.
Stay safe this winter!
For more tips on the outdoors, browse our other blog posts on Bass Pro Shops 1Source.