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Q & A: real temperature vs. windchill factor

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Most recent answer: 01/18/2014
Q:
We learn that water solidifies at around zero degreecelcius. However, is it at the "real" temperature or the "feel" temperature? For example, if the weather forecast says that the real temperature is 5 degrees celcius, but that it feels like -10 degrees celcius, will the water become ice?
- Victoria (age 27)
Avon, IN
A:

Great question. The water freezing depends on the real temeperature, not the windchill factor. That windchill gives a rough idea of how rapidly the air carries heat away from our bodies, which are kept at about 37°C by our metabolism.  So the windchill is important for how you feel. The water falls to the same temperature as the air whether or not the wind is blowing. Whether it freezes depends on how cold that is. How fast if freezes may depend somewhat on how much wind is blowing.

Mike W.


(published on 01/18/2014)

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