Science with Samantha

Science With Samantha: How Wind Chill Can Impact You

How the wind chill can impact you and tips to stay safe

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The coldest air we have seen in years will move into North Texas this weekend. Highs will be in the 20s through early next week with a few nights dropping into the teens. It will also be windy making it feel even colder! The wind chill value will range from 10-20 degrees.

Wind chill is the temperature it “feels like” outside. As the wind speed increases, the body is cooled at a faster rate. Wind chill does not impact objects, only people and animals. Objects cannot cool below the actual air temperature.

If you are outside in the extreme cold, frost bite and hypothermia can set in. 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, ears, or the tip of the nose. Medical attention is needed immediately for frostbite. The area should be SLOWLY re-warmed. 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.

You will want to dress appropriately if heading outside during the cold snap. Dress in layers. Loose fitting first then tighter on the outside. The air between layers will help insulate you. Wear a hat. You can lose 40% of your body heat from your head. Mittens work better than gloves and should fit tightly at your wrists. Stay dry and out of the wind.

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