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Difference Between Temperature and Wind Chill

weather-climate-pdTemperature vs. Wind Chill

In the subjects of meteorology and thermodynamics, certain concepts are often used. Two of these concepts are the topics of wind chill and temperature. Surely you have heard about these words before; if not in class then perhaps in the movies.

Most people know that things and matter (in whatever state) consist of many particles. When these particles are in motion, they create a form of energy (kinetic). Measuring this energy will result in the perception of temperature. In layman’s term, it is described as the hotness or coldness of a particular thing, may it be living or non-living. As the particles of matter move faster, they tend to become hotter; or colder if the other way around. Using various scales like the grading thermometer, one can readily measure the temperatures of matter. There are varied types of grading systems or unit calibrations used today. Truly, temperature is the more encompassing concept compared to the more specific topic of wind chill.

Temperature and wind chill are very different from each another. Wind chill signifies one’s perceived apparent temperature on the skin when exposed to outside windy conditions. It is more the temperature felt by the individual, rather than the actual temperature, which is another different concept. The perceived temperature of wind chills varies depending on how fast the wind travels, and secondly, on how low or high the air temperature really is.

Otherwise known as the wind chill factor, wind chill usually has a lower temperature than the actual air temperature. However, in the instance where the apparent temperature happens to be greater than that of air temperature, then another index (heat index) is used for the computation of wind chill.
In the case of non-living objects, wind chill brings down the objects’ surface temperatures to ambient temperature level. However, for humans and other living things (most especially the warm blooded animals), they counteract the ‘chill’ with heat loss mechanisms through the use of convection and evaporative cooling processes to prevent rapid temperature changes within the internal system of the living things. It is the time when this heat loss continues when frost bite, and even death, can occur.

Overall, temperature and wind chill are different because:

1. Temperature is a broader concept compared to wind chill.

2. Wind chill is the measure of the perceived apparent temperature, whereas temperature itself is the measure of the kinetic energy of the moving particles of matter.


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