ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Wind chill is a huge factor for us here in the Twin Tiers during the wintertime and can become extremely dangerous. Meteorologists use the term on-air to describe what the air temperatures “feels like” to a person when they step outside. But what exactly does this mean?

Our bodies naturally radiate heat and lose heat through convection. This creates a slight invisible layer of heat around our bodies that help keep us warm when we are outside. This of it as a shield from the elements. With no wind present, this layer is able to stay right around our bodies and the outside air feels like the actual air temperature to us.

When wind begins to pick up, things change. The layer of warm air that is surrounding and insulating ourselves begins to move away from our bodies. It is carried away by the wind and this is dependent on how strong the wind becomes. This helps speed up heat loss which makes it feel much colder. This can create very dangerous wind chills to people when temperatures are already well below freezing and wind picks up. The wind removes this insulating layer from surrounding our bodies. This is why it is extra important during the winter to pay attention to the wind chill factor.