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How Cold Does It Feel To You?

By Staff | Dec 16, 2008

Frigid winter weather has engulfed the Midwest, putting Palo Alto County residents in the deep freeze.

When you go outdoors, it feels really cold. The wind plays a big factor.

The National Weather Service Windchill Chart (at left) is an easy way to calculate how cold it is. Use this chart to calculate the dangers from winter winds and freezing temperatures.

On the chart, the wind speed is on the left and the temperature is on top. If the wind is blowing 20 miles per hour and the temperature is zero degrees, the wind chill is 22-degrees below zero. Under those circumstances, frost bite will occur within 30 minutes. You can calculate the wind chill for temperatures ranging from 40 degrees above zero to 45-degrees below zero, with winds from 5 to gusts of 60 mph.

NOAA’s National Weather Service implemented this updated windchill temperature index in 2001. The current formula uses advances in science, technology and computer modeling to provide a more accurate, understandable and useful formula for calculating the dangers from winter winds and freezing temperatures.