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How to protect yourself from wind chills

January 9, 2024 | Jason Kuiper | safety, tips, weather
man wrapped in a hooded jacket and scarf

Winter in Nebraska doesn’t just mean snow. Dangerous wind chills can pose problems for anyone who has to be outside. Such wind chills will be moving into our area this week and may linger into early next week, National Weather Service forecasters say.

But taking a few simple precautions can help you protect yourself from wind chills.

The wind chill index helps determine when dangerous conditions develop that could lead to frostbite or hypothermia. It takes into account heat loss from the human body to its surroundings during cold and windy weather.

The National Weather Service gives the example of a temperature of -5 degrees with a 20 mph wind gives a wind chill of -30 degrees, meaning your body would lose heat at the same rate as it would if the air temperature were -30 degrees with no wind.

The graphic below can be used to determine wind chill.

wind chill chart

It is best to limit your travel time when subzero temperatures strike. And any time spent outside should be kept to a minimum. If you have to go out, protect yourself from wind chills by dressing correctly.

That means multiple layers of clothing, including proper head wear to keep heat in, and making sure very little skin is exposed to the elements.

dressing for cold weather infographic diagram

The following graphic, also from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows what wind does to the body.

effects of wind chill on the body, protect yourself from wind chills


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About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He is a former staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, where he covered a wide range of topics but spent the majority of his career covering crime. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has also appeared in several true crime documentary shows. In his free time he enjoys cooking, spending time with his wife and three children, and reading crime novels.

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