Saturday, January 09, 2010

Wind Chill - Baloney

We've had quite a weather week here in north Texas, as have most of the denizens of the U.S. who live east of the Rockies. One particular morning, the temp was in the upper teens and the wind was gusting 30+ mph. That would put the wind chill at around minus 5.

But I have serious issues with this whole wind chill thing. The NWS says it's based on how the cold feels to a human face five feet up on a cloudy day or at night. It sounds very subjective to me but they say it's based on some "heat transfer" formulation.

Here's my beef. I think nearly everyone would much rather experience a calm, cloudy day when it's minus 5 than a very windy day in the mid-teens. The wind has a way of penetrating all those layers the experts tell us to wear. After it digs through all that fabric, it takes aim for nerves buried deep under the skin. There's a reason why "bone-chilling" is a common phrase during winter.

The coldest temp I've ever experienced was minus 1 F. It hurt not a bit. Now the sun was out, but there was no wind. In fact, I found the air rather invigorating. I would much rather have been in those circumstances, even had it been cloudy, than to have a windy, 20-degree day.

So the experts need to get away from their desks and step outside the next windy winter day. My hunch is that they will rush back inside and re-do the revered wind chill chart. And the next time the forecast calls for, say, 15 degrees with 30 mph winds, and they say the wind chill is minus 5, feel free to join me in hollering out, "B-b-b-b-b-baloney"!

1 comment:

Lynn Leaming said...

Steve sent me an atricle that was saying we are actually colder than the North and South Poles because of the wind chill factor....and I thought in my head. Baloney!!