Local Weather

Safety News

Safety: Dangerous wind-chill and frostbite

Wind chill is the temperature it “feels like” outside based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As wind speed increases, the body is cooled at a faster rate, causing the skin temperature to drop.

The wind chill, “feels like,” temperature can freeze body tissue. The most susceptible parts are the extremities such as fingers, toes, earlobes, or the tip of the nose. Frostbite symptoms include the loss of feeling of an extremity and a white or pale skin appearance.

Frostbite may be prevented by:

• Wearing layers of loose fitting, light weight, warm clothing.

• Wearing outer garments that are tightly woven, water repellant, and hooded.

• Wearing a hat (40% of body heat is lost from the head).

• Covering the mouth to protect the lungs from extreme cold.

• Staying dry and staying out of the wind.

Working in an environment with twenty-mile-per-hour winds (32kph) and an air temperature of zero degrees (-18C) may cause frostbite to exposed skin within thirty minutes. Wind chill advisories are issued when the wind chill temperatures are potentially hazardous. A wind chill warning is issued when wind chill temperatures are life threatening.