Can you guess what awaits us this weekend?  Can you imagine a foot (30.48 centimeters) of snow dumped in a day?  Starting from Friday midnight, we will see an inch-and-a half snow falling per hour throughout the night.  In addition to the snow, there will be gusty wind whipping flakes all around, making it a white-out condition, creating near zero visibility.  We will also see temperatures falling to as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit.  With the gusty wind, it feels more like -39 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 °C) counting the windchill factor.  Can you imagine ice crystals glittering on your eyelashes and nostrils frozen from breathing in the cold air that you can't stop coughing? 



Talking about the windchill factor, this might be a term foreign to you.  The windchill index is similar to the heat index in that the windchill index calculates the perceived temperature counting the wind speed that draws the heat away from the body and drives down the skin temperature and subsequently the internal body temperature; while the heat index quantifies the perceived temperature counting the varying levels of humidity by measuring the speed of sweat that evaporates and carries heat away from the body.  To learn more about the windchill factor, please refer to the link below.  


It is especially crucial to count in the windchill factor as the wind can actually turn a frigid temperature into a deadly one.  For example, if the wind blows at 30 miles (48 kilometers) per hour, even though the actual temperature is five degrees Fahrenheit, it might feel like negative 19 degree Fahrenheit to you. At this windchill temperature, exposed skin can freeze in 30 minutes.  Now, can you imagine a wind speed of 30mph (48kmph) and an actual temperature of -10 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 °C), how cold will you feel?  Wow, minus 39 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 °C).  It is extremely dangerous to even stay out for a second without getting frostbite or developing hypothermia, caused by windchill which brings the body temperature to below freezing.  If you are interested in learning the windchill index, please refer to the following link.


Some of you might not know that he has enrolled in the Ski School this winter and gets to go skiing at different ski terrain parks each week for the entire day.  I am wondering if my son will be able to go skiing this Saturday or not due to the upcoming snowstorm.  I had better head out sometime today and stack up some groceries which require no cooking or reheating before I am stranded at home and in case the electricity goes out.    


Written by Elisa English

On 12/9/2010 in Minneapolis


P.S.  I just checked my email and this is the note from the Ski School.

Tomorrow we're heading to Wild Mountain. Pardon the puns, but I can't resist. It looks like it will be a "wild" day, with the ensuing "blizzard." If we get the snow that's expected, make sure you plan enough time to get your skiers to the bus on time, and make sure they have proper equipment to deal with the heavy snow.


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