What does wind chill mean and how do you figure it?

How cold is it, really?

Never mind what the temperature on the thermometer reads, we all know it's colder than that when you factor in the wind chill — the combined cooling effect of wind and temperature on your body.

The harder or faster the wind blows, the more quickly you lose body heat. When the temperature dips to the teens and single digits and it's windy, wind chill factors can register far below zero.

But how do the math challenged figure that out? The National Weather Service offers a wind chill calculator on its website. You provide the temperature and the wind speed and it does the math.

For those with a calculator for a brain, here's the formula:

Wind chill temperature = 35.74 + 0.6215T - 35.75V (**0.16) + 0.4275TV(**0.16)


• V equals wind speed in mph.

• T is the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

• ** means the following term is an exponent (for example, 10**(0.5 ) means 10 to the 0.5 power, or the square root of V).

• - minus sign means subtract.

• + plus sign means add.

• A letter next to a number means to multiply that quantity represented by the letter by the number.

Source: National Weather Service