Wind chill and how to stay safe

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (KGWN) - Wind chill is referenced very often in Cheyenne, but what is it?

Simply put, wind chill is the temperature people and animals feel outside when cold temperatures combine with wind speeds. Wind chill is dangerous because as wind speeds increase, the skin cools at a faster rate speeding up the time it takes frost bite to occur.

According to the National Weather Service, on a five degree day with winds streaming at five miles per hour, the wind chill is negative five degrees. In those conditions, it takes frost bite 30 minutes to occur.

On that same five degree day, if wind speeds increase to 3o miles an hour the wind chill drops to negative 19 degrees. In those conditions, frost bite only takes 10 minutes.

To protect against frost bite and hypothermia, the National Weather Service suggests wearing multiple layers, covering any exposed skin and limiting exposure to the elements.

In terms of layers, the inner layer should be some type of fleece to trap body heat. The middle layer should be a natural fabric like wool and the outer layer should be wind and water resistant. People should also wear hats, gloves and water resistant boots.

For more tips to keep yourself safe in the winter, visit Weather.gov.