A few facts about 40 below zero

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Christine Fagerlie, Buffalo

We may not see actual temperatures plunge all the way to forty below zero, but we do have that potential this weekend when it comes to the wind chill! Forty below seems to be the common digit that is flying around this weekend. In fact, -40° is the only time the temperature on the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales actually match.


You have already seen a few wind chill advisories this winter season but this weekend is a first for a wind chill warning. The criteria used in this determination is literally the difference between life and death. Although the temperature spread is only 10 degrees, the difference between -25° and -35° can be much greater.




Frostbite is a nasty word for a nasty situation that can easily set in if you're not properly prepared for the cold. The wind chill is calculated by how the body reacts to heat loss caused by the wind. Even though the air temperature may be warmer, skin can still freeze. The wind removes the protective heat layer we all have on our skin making the exposed flesh more vulnerable to the elements. In windchills lower than -35°, exposed skin can freeze in as little as 10 minutes. check out the chart below.


Click on this link  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/windchill.shtml  for a windchill calculator and more facts on the effects of low windhcills.