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Winter Weather Special: Be Mindful Of Wind Chill

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jeff Jamison
Jeff is a meteorologist for CBS 11 News. You can watch his fore...
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Some years we don’t see ice or snow in North Texas.  But every winter we always feel the cold and wind.  The wind chill, the dangerous combination of freezing temperatures and gusty wind, is something we must be concerned about.

During the winter, you will hear the CBS 11 Storm Team talk about the wind chill during the weathercast.

Gordon Barnes, a former CBS New York meteorologist, was tasked with bringing the little-known wind chill factor to television.  “It was complicated with graphs, so I simplified it,” said Barnes.

The wind chill chart made its debut on January 22, 1968.

So, what is wind chill?  The temperature can remain constant. However, if you add wind into the equation the temperature may remain the same but you feel colder.

The lower the wind chill, the more dangerous it can be for everyone, especially children.

“And it’s very dangerous for infants because they really have no signs and they cannot shiver whatsoever so you can’t really tell if your child is getting really cold,” said Doctor Maria del Pilar Levy of Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.

Doctor Levy says boys and girls lose more heat quickly, partly, because they have less fat stores to produce heat when they start shivering.

It’s also important to recognize the signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

“The first thing your child will say is that they cannot feel their fingers or they cannot feel their nose or ear tips.  And then it will look grayish, whiteish.  It doesn’t look red.  It doesn’t look burned,” says Levy.

It’s important to be prepared for the winter. We all have to get out in the elements. Make sure you have a coat, gloves and hat ready to protect yourself from the chilling cold we experience in North Texas.

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