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Author: Cabela's Staff
If calculations can make a psychological difference, it may not seem quite so cold this winter. Last week, the National Weather Service introduced a new wind chill index that eases some of the extreme coldness estimates of the old formula.
Wind chill index is a formula that estimated how cold it "feels," based on the combination of temperature and wind. Wind chill factors are widely reported in winter, to help people decide how warmly to dress.
Under the new formula, a 10 mph wind makes an actual reading of 30 degrees Fahrenheit feel like 21 degrees, and an actual reading of 15 degrees feel like 3 degrees. The old formula calculated that a 10-mph wind at 30 degrees felt like 16 and 15 degrees felt like minus 3.
A 20-mph wind, under the new formula, makes a 30-degree reading feel like 17 and 15 degrees feel like minus 2, compared to the previous formula that showed a 20 mph wind making 30 degrees feel like 4 and 15 feel like minus 17.
In addition to changing some estimated temperature readings, the new index adds a calculation of how long it will take exposed skin to develop frostbite. For extended forays outdoors, to hunt or fish, this calculation is far more important that a simple discomfort equation. For outdoors enthusiasts, one thing remains constant regardless of which calculation you use - dress in layers for maximum warmth.
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