For 10 days we’ve been watching temperatures dive with disbelief. The cold wave deemed “Moscow-Paris” is making its way through Europe, and this staggering glacial blast has everyone speaking about the Wind Chill factor.

But what exactly is this so-called Wind Chill factor? Better yet, how can you protect yourself better from it?

Don’t panic. Instead, warm up some tea and put up your legs, and let us explain what’s going on here.

 

1/ Real Temperature vs. Felt Temperature

It’s quite simple: A temperature is taken at 1.5 meters from the ground, in the shade and sheltered from the wind. Thus, the thermometer will show a certain temperature (-5°C for example) but your body will feel another one (-15°C, for example).

Such a gap is due to a few different reasons:

 

2/ The culprits: wind and humidity

Wind is the principal cause of the wide gap between the real and felt temperature. We humans have a thin, permanent barrier of air surrounding our bodies that serves to protect warm us. When the wind blows, it cuts through this barrier, thus intensifying our contact with and feel of the cold.

The amount of sun and humidity affect the impact of the wind chill factor. The sun will heat us up and keep the cold at bay. Humidity however will accentuate the contact and feeling of the cold.

 

3/ Calculating the Cold

Rc = 13,12 + 06215 Tc + (0,3965 – 11,37) x Vkm/h 0,16

In case you’re ever looking to calculate what a certain temperature will feel like for you, just plug in this equation! Otherwise, you can simply trust your meteorologist and pay close attention to what they say.

 

4/ Don’t forget to protect!

It’s up to you to cover up well. A warm coat is good, but a windbreaker is a must if you want to keep safe from that cutting cold feeling accentuated by the wind chill factor.

And to keep those lips warm during these winter months, you’ve got a great excuse to finally grow out that mustache!