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Much of the U.S. is feeling winter-like and will continue to feel that way this week. Well, you’ll likely hear your local meteorologist talk about the wind chill. What exactly does that mean?

Our bodies naturally lose heat through convection. With little to no wind, a layer of that heat stays around our body to help us stay warm when it is cold outside. When it’s windy, the moving air breaks up the insulated warm layer. That’s when we lose heat and when we feel colder.

Wind chill advisories and warnings mean wind chill temperatures will drop cold enough to have a significant impact on your body.

Winter threats

In the winter, there are different threats to watch out for including different precipitation types, heat safety, travel safety, and how the cold impacts your body. Frostbite and hypothermia are two issues that you should know the signs of during the winter months.

Frostbite is the freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. The skin becomes red, numb, hard, and then pale. Hypothermia is when our body temperature drops below 95°F.

What can you do to prepare?

Dress in layers! Wear hats, gloves, scarves, long sleeves, and thick socks. You want to cover as much skin as possible and limit your time outside.

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