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Windchill Frostbite Chart

December 14, 2016, by Ken Jorgustin

Source: National Weather Service

Windchill Chart

The Windchill Chart shown above (from the National Weather Service) is a temperature index which accurately indicates how cold the air feels on human skin.

The Windchill Chart also includes a frostbite indicator which reveals the temperatures at which wind speed coupled with skin exposure time will produce frostbite (indicated within the three darker color shaded areas of temperatures versus 30, 10, and 5 minutes until frostbite sets in on exposed skin).

For example, using the windchill chart,
An air temperature of 0°F with a wind speed of 15 mph will produce a windchill temperature of -19°F. Under these conditions, exposed skin will freeze solid in approximately 30 minutes!

Another example, using the windchill chart,
Lets say you’re snowmobiling (skiing?) in an air temperature of -10°F (not very comfortable!) and you’re traveling 25mph. Any exposed skin will freeze solid in 10 minutes!.

Another example, using the windchill chart,
You’re a ‘diehard’ ice fisherman and out on the frozen lake with air temperatures hovering between 5°F and 0°F. The wind isn’t terribly strong, but steady across the lake at about 10-15mph. Guess what… you’re skin might freeze with frostbite in about 30 minutes…

Download and print your own full-size windchill frostbite chart on 8.5×11 paper:

Windchill Frostbite Chart
Either click and print, or Right-click and ‘Save Link As..’

Tip: From experience I can tell you that these hand warmers work very well!
They stay quite warm all day long!
HotHands Hand Warmers


What is Windchill Temperature?

It is the temperature it “feels like” outside and is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As the wind increases, the body is cooled at a faster rate causing the skin temperature to drop. Windchill does not impact objects that are ‘not alive’ like car radiators and exposed water pipes, because these objects cannot cool below the actual air temperature.

La Crosse Indoor/Outdoor Digital Thermometer


What is Frostbite?

Frostbite is an injury to the body caused by freezing body tissue. The most susceptible parts of the body are the extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose. Symptoms include a loss of feeling in the extremity and a white or pale appearance. Medical attention is needed immediately for frostbite. The area should be SLOWLY re-warmed.


What is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature (below 95 degrees Fahrenheit). Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. Medical attention is needed immediately. If it is not available, begin warming the body SLOWLY.


Tips on how to dress during cold weather

Many people don’t realize that jeans are made of cotton, and as the adage goes, “cotton kills.” Like a cotton towel soaks up water, cotton clothes will hold onto water for a long time. If they get wet, they stay wet. Nylon, synthetics, silk, and wool are the way to go.

Wear layers of loose fitting warm clothing. Trapped air between layers provides insulation.

Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded.

Goggles! to protect your eyes.

Wear a hat, because 40% of your body heat can be lost from your head.

Wear a face mask to cover your mouth and protect your lungs from extreme cold.

Mittens, snug at the wrist, are generally warmer than gloves.

Keep your clothing clean. Dirty clothes clog the insulating properties.

Avoid overheating. When you sweat you loose heat faster.

Keep dry. Keep dry. Keep dry.

Related Article: The Warmest Survival Blanket – Wool Or Polar Fleece?