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Weekly Weather Event -Week of November 4

November 8, 2019

Unseasonably cold weather will be persisting for the Great Plains, the Midwest, and portions of the South and East Coast this weekend. The Upper Great Plains and Midwest will be seeing temperatures ten to twenty degrees below normal, a range more typically seen in January than early November. Parts of the Deep South can expect low temperatures in the twenties and the Northern Gulf Coast may see its first freeze of the year. According to the National Weather Service, this incoming cold snap could set dozens of cold records for affected areas.

As temperatures drop, the effects of wind chill become increasingly more important. Wind chill describes the relative temperature that a person ‘feels’ when factoring in both the actual air temperature and the speed of the wind. As cold air moves past something with a higher temperature (such as the human body), heat is removed at a faster rate than if the air was not moving. It is important to note that the actual air temperature as measured by a thermometer does not change; wind chill is based on a human perception of the air being colder.

Wind chill temperature is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin. While can be calculated by hand, it is oftentimes easier to consult ready-made charts to approximate the perceived temperature. Lower wind chill temperatures come with a higher risk of developing frostbite and/or hypothermia, both which can be deadly under certain circumstances. The National Weather Service recommends wearing layers, covering up exposed skin, and limiting time outside during a wind chill warning.