Sub Zero Wind Chill Hits Washington Next Week

Cold is one thing, but wind chill temperatures will be so cold next week that it could be dangerous.

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-22° Wind Chill Forecast for Parts of Washington State

You might have missed that a really cold and windy storm is rolling through Washington State next week and could bring dangerously cold conditions.

Wind chill temperatures near 0° will be common with some places reaching dangerous lows.

Wednesday and Thursday will be the worst, with the coldest temperatures in the mountain passes.

One highly traveled Washington State Mountain Pass is forecasting a -22° wind chill for Thursday.

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Snoqualmie Pass Forecasts -22° Wind Chill Thursday

Lots of people could potentially be crossing over Snoqualmie Pass on Thursday with the first home opener for the Seattle Sea Dragons.

The forecast is calling for a 20% chance of snow with a wind chill of -22° during the day.

Wednesday evening will also be cold with wind chills of -17° forecast. Even a wind chill of 0° is dangerous, but exactly how fast can you get frostbite with a low wind chill?

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Wind Chill and Health Risks in Washington

Exposed skin can experience frostbite much more quickly when wind chill is involved.

The temperature might be around 0° but wind movement makes that temperature much colder on your skin.

The stronger the wind, the colder it feels on your skin and the faster you can get frostbite.

A graph created by the National Weather Service shows the relationship between wind chill temps and wind speed on your exposed skin.

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Wind Chill and Frostbite: the Numbers

How long does it take to get frostbite on exposed skin with sub-zero temperatures?

It really depends on the temperature and the wind speed. With wind chill temperatures of 34° to -17°, your exposed can get frostbite in under 30 minutes.

Not all wind chill temperatures are equal either, let me explain. The more wind you have, the colder the wind chill, and the faster your skin will freeze.

A wind chill of -34° with 35 mph winds will freeze your skin in under 10 minutes while a wind chill of -52° with only 5 mph winds takes 30 minutes to freeze your skin.

Why? The answer is the higher wind speed removes the heat faster from your skin.

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What to Wear for Protection in Sub Zero Wind Chill

DO NOT be like the guy above. Remember that the higher the wind speed, the more dangerous and likely you are to get frostbite quickly with exposed skin.

The best way to avoid frostbite if you have to be out is to cover all exposed skin where possible.

Wear a hat, goggles, facemask, gloves, and any other clothing item that can protect you from the elements.

Wear sleeves that are snug to keep air from flowing in and if possible wear water-resistant clothing.

The wind chill is much more dangerous if your clothing is moist or wet.

Stay indoors when possible and take breaks from the elements if you have to be outside for an extended amount of time.

Find out more about wind chill at Weather.gov.

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