First Alert Weather In-Depth: What’s the real feel?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. —  You hear the term every winter, and that term is “wind chill.” What is the wind chill, and why is it important?

“Wind chill” is the term to describe what the air temperature feels like to our skin, due to the combination of cold temperatures and windy conditions to exposed skin. Your body produces a thin layer of warmer air around your skin to keep you warm. When the winds are light or non-existent, you keep that thin layer of warmth around you and the air doesn’t feel colder. However, when the winds are blustery, that thin layer of warmth your body produces gets sheared away and makes the air feel colder to your skin.

The faster the wind is, the faster our body heat is taken away. Just like when you blow on a bowl of soup to cool it off, that same process is applied to our bodies in the winter. This is why the wind chill is more important to those outdoors in the winter than the actual air temperature, because the wind chill describes what our bodies will feel.

This will be important the next few days because our air temperature will likely be in the 20s and 30s, but winds will likely be gusting over 30mph at times which means it will feel like the teens and single digits at times. Stay warm, and don’t worry we are nearing the end of the winter season!