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The wind chill factor?

  1. Dec 30, 2008 #1
    What exactly is the wind chill factor? Do conventional mercury thermometers measure the wind chill factor?
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  3. Dec 30, 2008 #2


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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Dec 30, 2008 #3


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    Thanks for that link, Mgb. I've had a bit of trouble adjusting to the new standard. It sounds so much warmer these days, while I remember it hitting 75° below F. when I was a kid. Now it's like -50 C. and feels the same. Even accounting for the conversion between F & C, the numbers are considerably different.
  5. Dec 31, 2008 #4
    Thank you for your replies. In what ways is a human different to a thermometer, that would mean the former are subseptible to the wind chill factor while the latter are not?
  6. Dec 31, 2008 #5
    The human differs from a thermometer because (1) the human skin is moist, and in the presence of wind, this leads to evaporative cooling, and (2) the human body generates heat, so there is a heat flux from the body surface to the ambient environment. You can "feel" the effect of wind, the idea is that when the wind blows, it "feels" to you like the air is colder. The various wind chill scales (in my opinion) all have their own problems.
  7. Dec 31, 2008 #6


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    Hello p.tryon! :smile:

    A thermometer is the same temperature as what it is measuring, but a human is usually warmer. :wink:

    (So a human can be insulated by a surrounding layer of air, which the wind can make thinner.)
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