From The Storyteller
February 26, 2018, Wind Chill
The TV weather folks came up with the idea of telling us about the “Wind Chill” temperature sometime during my early 20’s (1970’s). Exactly when it happened escapes me, but suddenly I became aware of the evening weather report downplaying actual temperature, and telling us what that actual temperature will “feel like”. I suspected the reason for the change was to spice up an otherwise boring weather report. A temperature of 42 degrees and wind of 15-20 was hardly worth mentioning, however by adding a “wind chill” warning of 28 - now there was something to talk about.
Wind chill is a combination of temperature, wind speed, and humidity. Growing up in Chicago, Lake Michigan gave us all three in bucket loads. You expected high humidity and the blowing wind - so when it was cold you “bundled up”, tried to keep feet dry, covered your ears, and went about your day. Wind chill – irrelevant.
The wind blows in Texas, just like Chicago. The difference - how the people deal with it. Example: Actual temperature 42, wind blowing 15-20, and the “wind chill” is reported to be 28. I am in Starbucks and I am looking at a girl in T-shirt, shorts, and flip flops. I am wearing layered shirts, pants, and a heavy sweatshirt. Scanning the room, of the 10 coffee drinkers, I find the only person “bundled up” is me.
At that moment I realize a Texas wind chill of 28 does not change the local dress code. T-shirts and shorts work at 28 or 68. This of course left me with a question. Exactly how cold does it have to get before people in Texas feel the need to “bundle up”?
Moral – Weather and clothing combinations really do vary from place to place, and person to person.