Wind chill woes

courtesy Pixabay

While in the summer it’s the heat and humidity, in the winter it’s the cold and the wind! As we expected, Low temperatures last night plunged to the 20s across Southeast Texas. Here’s what I found this morning:

Even Galveston fell to freezing this morning!

While 27° came in as a popular number, even the Island fell to freezing. Winds averaged 20-24 mph overnight and this morning and that drove wind chill temperatures to single digits! Here’s a look:

9 degree wind chills in College Station and Wharton!

Why is that important? If you aren’t well-layered to trap your body heat and cover exposed skin, then those winds will whisk away any protective heat from you! Amazingly, while we are generally around 98° only a two to four degree drop to 95° will start hypothermia!

courtesy National Weather Service Houston

Wind Chill Forecast

With this arctic blast keeping us in the 30s today (some of you in northern counties may not get above freezing) and the winds still forecast to be in the 15-20 mph range, the wind chill danger continues:

More Wind Chills in the teens tonight!

Texas roots in that wind chill!

I blogged about wind chill in November, when it really wasn’t a factor although I did warn the wind would eventually blow in here! You can take a look at that blog here and I explain just how and why scientists Paul Siple and Charles Passel experimented in the Antarctic to determine wind effects on human skin. After that blog, I received a surprise email from Thom Benson of the Tennessee Aquarium whose pictures I used:

Good morning Frank! – I enjoyed reading your blog post about the Wind Chill and I was excited to see the pictures from the TN Aquarium blog. I thought you might enjoy knowing that Charles Passel lived in Abilene. That’s where I got to know him while working as a meteorologist at KTXS-TV. He had a wonderful slide show of his trip that was shown using three carousel slide projectors. He had the forethought to take the pictures in three shots – to create a very early “panoramic” views of Antarctica. Take care! - Thom

Charles Passel is on the left in this photo from the Tennessee Aquarium:

Charles Passel is on the left with other scientists. More than a hundred dogs pulled equipment across the snowy landscape. Image credit: Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Archival Program, via Tennessee Aquarium Blog.

Yep, just like most things, a Texan was involved. Even with wind chill.

Stay warm!


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About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.