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Wind Chill Frostbite Chart


wind-chill-frostbite-chart
img Source: National Weather Service

Wind Chill Chart

– The wind chill chart shown above is a temperature index which accurately indicates how cold the air feels on human skin.

(Download your own high resolution wind chill chart below)

(See Frostbite Risk Chart below)

The wind chill chart also includes a frostbite indicator. This reveals the temperatures at which wind speed coupled with skin exposure time will produce frostbite.

Read on for how to interpret time until frostbite sets in on exposed skin.

 

What is Wind chill Temperature?

It’s the “feels like” temperature. It’s based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As the wind increases, the body is cooled at a faster rate causing the skin temperature to drop.

Wind chill does not impact objects that are ‘not alive’ like car radiators and exposed water pipes, because these objects cannot cool below the actual air temperature.

Most popular wireless indoor-outdoor thermometer w/ waterproof sensor:
ThermoPro TP63

 

What is Frostbite?

Frostbite is an injury to the body caused by freezing body tissue. The most susceptible parts of the body are the extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose.

Symptoms include a loss of feeling in the extremity and a white or pale appearance. Medical attention is needed immediately for frostbite. The area should be SLOWLY re-warmed.

 

How To Use Wind Chill Chart

To find the wind chill, cross reference the top horizontal line (air temperature) with the wind speed along the left side vertical line.

To find frostbite time, compare the wind chill temperature with the color shaded areas of the chart. The shaded areas represent a range of time to frostbite:

Related:  Store The Foods That You Would Normally Eat

0 – 5 minutes (purple)
5 – 10 minutes (dark blue)
10 – 30 minutes (blue)

For example, using the wind chill chart,
An air temperature of 0°F with a wind speed of 15 mph will produce a wind chill temperature of -19°F. Under these conditions, exposed skin will freeze solid in approximately 30 minutes!

Lets say you’re snowmobiling (skiing?) in an air temperature of 0°F (not very comfortable!) and you’re traveling 30 mph. That’s -26 wind chill. Any exposed skin will freeze solid in about 15 minutes.

You’re a ‘diehard’ ice fisherman and out on a frozen lake with air temperatures hovering between 5°F and 0°F. The wind isn’t terribly strong, but steady across the lake at about 10-15mph. Guess what… you’re skin might freeze with frostbite in about 30 minutes…

Download and print your own full-size wind chill frostbite chart:

Wind Chill Frostbite Chart

 

Wind Chill Frostbite Hazard

Data Source: Defence R&D Canada – Toronto

As a general guideline, wind chill versus risk of frostbite:

0 to 9 (Low Risk)

-10 to -27 (Moderate Risk)

-28 to -39 (High Risk) 10 to 30 minutes

-40 to -47 (Very High Risk) 5 to 10 minutes

-48 to -54 (Severe Risk) 2 to 5 minutes

-55 and colder (Extreme Risk) less than 2 minutes

Note that time to frostbite increases more quickly when wind chill temperatures fall below -27.

 

Cold Weather Tips

Hand and Foot Warmers
From experience I can tell you that these hand and toe warmers work very well! I always keep a box of each. When activated they stay warm for about 6 – 8 hours!

Hand Warmers
Toe Warmers

Avoid Cotton
As the adage goes, “cotton kills.” Like a cotton towel soaks up water, cotton clothes will hold onto water for a long time. If they get wet, they stay wet. Nylon, synthetics, silk, and wool are the way to go.

Related:  Eight Essential Oils for Health and Wellness

Layers
Wear layers of loose fitting warm clothing. Trapped air between layers provides insulation.

Outerwear
Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded.

Face, Eyes, Head
Goggles to protect your eyes and part of face. Wear a hat! Apparently 40% of your body heat can be lost from your head. Wear a face mask to cover your mouth, nose, and protect your lungs.

Hands
Mittens, snug at the wrist, are generally much warmer than ordinary gloves.
OZERO Snow Mittens, -40°F

Related article:
Best Gloves With Thinsulate Insulation

Clean Clothes
Keep your clothing clean. Dirty clothes clog the insulating properties.

Sweating
Avoid overheating. When you sweat you loose heat faster.

Keep Active
Generate body heat without overheating (sweating).

Keep dry
Water, sweat, dampness will pull the heat from your body.

 
The Warmest Survival Blanket – Wool Or Polar Fleece?

 

What is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature (below 95 degrees Fahrenheit). Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. Medical attention is needed immediately. If it is not available, begin warming the body SLOWLY.

Related article:
How To Prevent Frostbite, Hypothermia

 
(I’ve updated this article from a previous version. My motivation: It was 20 below last night! This past week has been brutal…)

Related: Wicked Cold – It’s so cold that…



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