We’re Exaggerating too much about the Wind Chill in Chicago

If small talk about the weather were an Olympic sport, I’d say just about everyone in Chicago better head to Sochi right about now, because this week was a damn marathon.
logan-square-theaterAll week, I watched newscasters and radio hosts struggle to fill dead-air and show intros with a cold-weather pun that hasn’t been used yet, but their extra effort went in vain. Round II of the recycled cold-weather jokes was just as painful to watch as someone trying to use a Ventra card (I still haven’t jumped on the Ventra train yet, so I’m not speaking from experience on that one). Now, I’ll spare you my version of the small talk, and instead, share with you some actual knowledge about Wind Chill that I discovered yesterday:

10 Facts About Wind Chill

To summarize the link above for those of you who aren’t going to read it:

  • There was a formula for Wind Chill developed in 2001: Wind Chill = 35.74 + 0.6215T – 35.75(V^0.16) + 0.4275T(V^0.16)
  • There is no ‘official’ formula for it (and nobody verify the math in that equation), so the weatherman can exaggerate as he sees fit.
  • Wind Chill can only be felt on the surface of your skin, inanimate objects do not experience Wind Chill.
  • Nor can Wind Chill be felt through a jacket, so calm down with the negative-double-digits.
  •  The lowest Wind Chill recorded was in Antarctica at -150 Fahrenheit.

Anyway, the main thing to take away here is that Wind Chill/Real Feel only applies to exposed skin, which really should only be about 4 square inches on your face between your hat and your scarf. So next time you go all Tom Skilling on someone, just know it’s not going to feel like -30 unless you’re in shorts and a T-shirt.


  1. Great rant.


  1. […] about my random mini-adventures of things I like around Chicago, bookstores, Lake Michigan, the weather, fishing, to my adding of the Illinois State Fossil to my collection, and anything else […]

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