Safety during extreme cold temperatures
(ABC 6 News) – This week in 2019, we had wind chills dip as low as 60-and-61-degrees-below-zero at the Rochester International Airport.
Those are the 2nd and 4th overall coldest wind chills since the 1940s.
Spending a lot of time outside in these temperatures is not advised. But if you do have to go out, extreme cold calls for extreme measures.
Kristin Welch, who co-owns Tyrol Ski and Sports Center with her husband, has a few tips. “Make sure your extreminities, feet, hands, and your head. Make sure to use some sort of face protection.”
She has a lot of experience with the outdoors. “I have been downhill skiing since I was six or seven years old.”
She, like everyone, has her comfort level on what kind of temperatures she can handle. “Single digits below zero before the wind chill. That’s very doable. If it gets much colder than that, I don’t tend to go out personally.”
Our bodies lose heat through convection. When there isn’t a lot of wind, we are able to stay warmer much easier. When there are stronger winds blowing against us at cold temperatures, it speeds up how much heat we lose.
The stronger the winds and the colder the temperatures, the faster we lose heat.
In areas with more objects, you are less likely to deal with the extreme cold. Welch lists one of those places. “Is it more protected? Is it in the woods more where the wind chill isn’t going to be as much of a factor?”
Other factors that play into how long your body can handle the cold include metabolism, body fat, and tolerance to colder temperatures.
Warmer weather is anticipated towards the end of the week, but bundling up will still be a necessity going forward.