Wind chills explained: How they are calculated, advisories, and tips to stay safe

Published: Thursday, January 04, 2018 @ 10:40 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 04, 2018 @ 10:40 AM

A look at the criteria used by the NWS for Wind Chill Warning, Advisory and Watch.

We often talk about wind chills this time of year because it’s an indication of what the temperature feels like.

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Wind chill values are based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin.

As the wind increases, it pulls heat away from the body, cooling down the skin and eventually the internal body temperature. This is why we say it "feels" colder outside than the air temperature actually is sometimes in the winter, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

Examples of how wind chill is calculated during the winter months.

Air temperatures this week will fall to the low single digits some mornings; rising to only 18 to 20 degrees. 

Cold air, combined with even the slightest of breezes, will allow wind chill values to fall below zero this week.

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The calculation the National Weather Service uses for wind chill looks at how cold it is as well as windy.

To help protect people from frostbite and hypothermia, the National Weather Service will issue a Wind Chill Advisory if the wind chill is expected to drop anywhere from minus 10 to minus 24 with wind around 10 mph or greater.

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When the wind chill is minus 10 to minus 15, frostbite can develop in less than 30 minutes.  


The National Weather Service issues Wind Chill Warnings and Advisories based on specific criteria, depending on geographical location.

“A Wind Chill Advisory is issued when wind chill values will be between 10 below zero and 24 below zero and winds 6 mph or greater,” Zontini said. “A step up from an advisory or a Wind Chill Warning, issued when the wind chill will be 25 below zero with winds 6 mph or greater.” 

A Wind Chill Watch can also be issued if wind chills low enough for a warning are expected in the next 12 to 36 hours, according to Zontini 


Dress for the weather this time of year. Dress in many layers that are lightweight but warm. Your coat can be heavier and should have a hood. Water resistant materials are best as well. 

>> 5-Day Weather Forecast

If you must go outside, be sure to cover as much skin as possible to help prevent both frostbite and hypothermia. 

Keep on a hat as well because a lot of body heat is lost through your head. Also, wear mittens instead of gloves to keep your hands warmer.

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WPAFB Friday Weather: Flood watch through Sunday; rain to continue 

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:02 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—A Flood Watch remains in effect through Sunday with waves of rain expected to move through, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

RELATED: Rain totals: soggy mid-week, more rain coming

The rain may be heavy at times, especially this morning. Temperatures will be mild despite the rain, rising to near 60 degrees. 

Showers will taper off briefly in the evening before redeveloping late tonight through Saturday. The rain may get heavy again Saturday evening. Rainfall amounts will range from 2 to 4 inches through Saturday night.

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

The rain will taper off early Sunday with clearing skies and slightly cooler temperatures, generally in the lower 50s to end the weekend.

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 Three things to look forward to this spring

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 12:25 PM

It has been a very wet week in the Miami Valley, but it is also a turning point. We are now less than a month from the astronomical start to spring. On March 20 the vernal equinox will take place, transitioning us to the new season. 

Days of rain getting underway

  1. Daylight: The days will get longer. Daylight Saving Time begins March 11, which will help increase the amount of daylight but naturally the days get longer during the transition from the winter solstice to the summer solstice. From Feb. 20 to March 20 we will see an increase of a little more than an hour of daylight.                                      Latest weather video: Watch our five day forecast
  2. Low Snow: The chance for snow drops off. On average, the latest we see an inch of snow in Dayton is March 10. That doesn’t mean we won’t get snow in March, just statistically speaking it becomes less likely. There will be a greater chance though for spring storms as severe weather season kicks in.  
  3. Warmer: It will gradually get warmer. The average afternoon high towards the end of February is around 40 degrees but by the first day of spring it warms up to 51 degrees. The angle of the sun and the length of day helps to increase our average high. 

Keep up with the rain this week by using the WHIO weather App. 

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WPAFB Thursday Weather: Rain showers continue through weekend 

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 12:41 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—A soggy morning is expected although rain will move out fairly quickly, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

Temperatures will start out the day in the middle 30s and make it back into the middle 40s during the afternoon with lingering clouds. After some brief dry time tonight, rain will return to the area Friday morning with on and off rain likely to continue through Saturday. The rain may be heavy at times with a few thunderstorms possible.

RELATED: County-by-County Weather

Rainfall amounts will range from 2 to 4 inches through Sunday morning. Despite the rain, temperatures will rebound to near 60 degrees for highs both Friday and Saturday before cooling into the lower 50s to end the weekend.

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Warm temperatures lead to record-breaking week

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 3:14 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini looks at how the numbers have broken down for this warm week in February.

The Miami Valley saw record-breaking warmth this week.  

On Monday, temperatures climbed to 70 degrees, tying the record for the warmest day set back in 1939. The week continued to get warmer, and Tuesday morning temperatures never dropped below 61 degrees. This set a record for the warmest low temperature in Dayton for Feb. 20. The old record was 49 degrees set back in 1930.

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Things continued to heat up in the afternoon. Tuesday, the high temperature soared to 75 degrees smashing the old record for the warmest high temperature of 69 degrees which was set in 2016. The warmest February day ever on record is 76 degrees from February 24, 2017, making Tuesday the second warmest February day on record in Dayton.

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