Wind can Kill

Wind chill can lead to frostbite. These are the facts you should know.

You are planing your hike and the weather forecast says it going to be 35° to 40° F during the day.  The Weather Channel is also predicting 15 to 20 mph winds, with the accompanying “wind chill factor” making it feel like it’s 50° F. So what should you prepare for.

To answer that question, it helps to know the wind chill facts.

•“Wind chill factor” refers to the rate your body cools, not the air temperature.

•When the air is dry, the wind cannot lower your skin temperature to less than the ambient air temperature. If the thermometer reads 33° F, that’s as low as skin temperature can get, no matter how hard the wind blows. At this temperature you will feel uncomfortable if you’re not dressed correctly, but you will not get frostbite, even though your fingers may feel like ice. You will cool down faster which is a possible for the onset of hypothermia.

•Wind blowing over wet skin can drop your temperature to less than the ambient temperature. Your body will cool faster than when you’re dry, and you may enter the frostbite danger zone.

•When the thermometer reads below 32° F, skin will freeze faster exposed to the wind. Exposed skin freezes in 30 seconds if the temp is -30° F and the wind is blowing 30 mph. Just remember that when it’s below freezing, limit the amount your skin is exposed. Gloves are essential, also a hat, and a face-covering balaclava is a good idea.

If you are not prepared the cold and the wind can be devastating. Always pack a good wind shell, make sure to layer your clothing so you can add or remove layers when you need.

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