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Preparing for extreme cold and low wind chills

Temperatures this weekend are expected to fall with wind chills into the mid-teens marking perfect timing for Missouri's winter weather preparedness week. The forth topic of the week is dealing with the extreme cold and low wind chills.

To first understand wind chill and why it is referred to as the "Feels-Like temperature," you must first understand the actual temperature on a calm night. Whenever there is minimal wind on a cool night, your clothing is able to keep your body heat close by allowing for you to maintain an adequate body temperature. When you start to add increased wind to the equation, the surrounding body heat is then pushed away further from yourself. This means it is harder to keep as warm which can increase chances of a cooling body temperature. Both early Saturday and Sunday morning from 2am-8am, temperatures will reach their lowest points with wind gust out of the north. This will lead to falling wind chills into the mid to upper teens.

In order to maintain a safe body heat and stay warm, proper layering and clothing is required. When temperatures begin to cool and become chilly, 1-2 layers of clothing including base layers and a heavier duty exterior layer should be warn. Make sure to keep in mind your activity level when dressing this winter. If you are expecting higher levels of physical activity make sure to not overdress. Overdressing can lead to sweating of the body. Sweat is created to increase evaporation rates therefore cooling our body. Whenever this process occurs post activity it can lead to a dramatic cool down leading to increased risk of hyperthermia.

As temperatures continue to fall, an extra insulation layer should be added along with waterproof boots and exterior wear. This checks off the next categories on the graphics list.

Finally, whenever temperatures reach extreme levels of cool with the actual temperature or wind chill, you should have at minimum 3 layers or more along with any coverings such as scarfs or gloves to keep body heat from escaping.

Article Topic Follows: Weather
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Chance Gotsch

Chance Gotsch grew up just south of St. Louis and moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

His interest in weather begin as a child when he used to be afraid of storms.

Chance joined the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team in February 2021. He is currently the weekday noon meteorologist.


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