No matter the season, our bodies are always giving off heat. There’s a little bubble of air that expands outward as that heat is released into the air and into the atmosphere.
During the summer months, when we have warmer air, more heat is going into our body than is going out. In order to prevent overheating, our bodies will sweat. When that sweat evaporates, it cools us down. During the winter, colder air causes our bodies to release heat faster.
We dress in layers to trap heat closer to our body. However, when it’s windy during the winter, you may notice that exposed skin gets very cold, very fast. Thankfully our layers will protect us. But, that bubble of heat is actually being pulled away from our body. That’s why our ears, noses and faces get so cold when the wind blows when it’s cold.
The definition of wind chill is the cooling effect on exposed skin. That’s all it comes down to.
The thing we’re keeping in mind is that when temperatures drop and wind increases, wind chills become much more dangerous. With wind chills of minus-20 and below, frostbite can occur within 30 minutes. At minus-35 and below, within 10 minutes.
Here are some safety tips you can follow when wind chill advisories/warnings are issued:
Of course, dress in layers, cover exposed skin and limit outside activity.
Maybe kicking your feet up by the fire is a better idea at that point.