Windchill Frostbite Chart

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.

(Download your own windchill chart below)

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

Tip: From experience I can tell you that these hand and toe warmers work very well! I always keep a box of each. When activated they last about 8 hours!

(More cold weather tips below)

Hand Warmers
Toe 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 Technology Indoor/Outdoor 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.

Related article:
How To Prevent Frostbite, Hypothermia


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 and part of face
OutdoorMaster Ski Goggles PRO

– Wear a hat! Because 40% of your body heat can be lost from your head.
Original Turtle Fur Fleece, Heavyweight Fleece Watch Cap Beanie

– Wear a face mask to cover your mouth, nose, and protect your lungs
Balaclava – Polar Fleece

– Mittens, snug at the wrist, are generally much warmer than ordinary gloves.
OZERO Snow Mittens, -40°F Cold Proof

– 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:
Best Gloves With Thinsulate For Cold Weather Outdoors

The Warmest Survival Blanket – Wool Or Polar Fleece?

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