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Wind, Wintery, Weather Explanations, Cold, Wind Chill
Asset ID: 5416
|Title: The Wind Chill Factor|
Concept: When does it get dangerous?
Detail: When the wind chill drops to -50°F, the
danger of frostbite is serious. Frostbite can occur in less than 10-15 minutes to exposed flesh. With temperatures around -20°F, it only takes a 15 mph wind to get to to near -50°F wind chill.
Thus, even short periods of exposure of skin to cold air and moderate can be a significant health hazard.
Wind chill factors this low are not too common in the Eastern
and Southern United States, but occur more often throughout the Great
Lakes and Northern Plains. Motorists stranded in snow storms frequently
begin wandering through blizzard winds in search of an open gasoline
station or motel, but somes they fail to make it, succumbing to the numbing
effects of exposure. When the wind chill factor approaches -30 to -50°F,
parents should give second thoughts to allowing children to walk short
distances to school unless they are extremely well protected. The
insidious thing about frostbite is that it often begins without people
really knowing it. The sensation of extreme cold gradually gives way to
numbness and eventually no feeling at all, which a person could obviously
interpret as that they are alright. In fact, flesh has begun to be
damaged severely — and perhaps permanently.