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Old 01-11-08, 10:41 PM   #1
doctor j
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Wind Chill

Here's one of those story problems you hated in math class.

Let's say that there is a massive heat wave in southern Wisconsin this weekend, and the ambient temperature on Saturday get's up to 10 deg F. Given the balmy conditions, a hypothetical cyclist named Tom decides that he will take a relaxing ride on a north-south rail trial. Before the ride, Tom watches the weather on the tele and discovers that the prevailing wind is out of the north at 10 mph. Tom begins his ride to the north, directly into the wind and averages 10 mph on the bike.

During the initial part of Tom's ride, is the wind chill Tom experiences determined by the 10 mph wind (10 mph, -4 deg F), or is it determined by the 10 mph wind plus Tom's average speed of 10 mph (20 mph, -9 deg F)?

What is the effective wind chill on Tom's return trip if he averages 10 mph?
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Old 01-11-08, 11:02 PM   #2
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20 mph out and 0 mph on the return.
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Old 01-11-08, 11:15 PM   #3
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No doubt, the wind direction will change!
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Old 01-12-08, 12:33 AM   #4
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20MPH! Except that the heat his body generated working that hard into the wind will raise the ambient temperature thus he's better off.
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Old 01-12-08, 12:46 AM   #5
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Who are you kidding? Tom wouldn't ever go out in conditions like that!
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Old 01-12-08, 02:08 AM   #6
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A Hypothetical Tom riding at 10 mph into a 10 mph headwind at 10degF? He'd have more sense and turn round and find the nearest cafe for pie.
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Old 01-12-08, 05:18 AM   #7
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10 degrees F blows no matter which way the wind is coming from!
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Old 01-12-08, 07:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by gmcttr View Post
20 mph out and 0 mph on the return.

+1

I once posed this almost exact question to a friend and lunch mate of many years named Charles Passel, who knew a little about this subject.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=charles+passel


Just name dropping here.
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Last edited by Monoborracho; 01-12-08 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 01-12-08, 07:31 AM   #9
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I don't know. It's 65, sunny, and no wind here, so I'm going out for a ride.
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Old 01-12-08, 07:44 AM   #10
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I don't know. It's 65, sunny, and no wind here, so I'm going out for a ride.
Don't you ever get tired of good weather? Me thinks you need some variety down there.
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Old 01-12-08, 08:16 AM   #11
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Okay, wind chill is a bad thing for carbon based units (quoting first Star Trek movie). But does wind chill effect inorganics ... like metal?

Would it be any harder to start a car in Michigan if it is zero degrees F with no wind ... or if it is zero degrees F with a 20 MPH wind?
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Old 01-12-08, 08:33 AM   #12
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Okay, wind chill is a bad thing for carbon based units (quoting first Star Trek movie). But does wind chill effect inorganics ... like metal?

Would it be any harder to start a car in Michigan if it is zero degrees F with no wind ... or if it is zero degrees F with a 20 MPH wind?
They discussed this question on "Car Talk" (NPR) and said, no, it doesn't affect inorganics, so a car would be no harder to start. It would only cool down a bit quicker. According to the Tappett Brothers.
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Old 01-12-08, 09:18 AM   #13
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Except that the heat his body generated working that hard into the wind will raise the ambient temperature thus he's better off.
This is the thing that makes it difficult to calculate. How much heat does his body generate; how much of that is radiating away from his body, causing a thermal barrier against any wind; and, what kind of and how many layers is he wearing that will trap the thermal barrier?
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Old 01-12-08, 11:50 AM   #14
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Depends on whether he wears shoe covers and helmet cover or not...
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Old 01-12-08, 01:58 PM   #15
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Wind chill affects all warm bodies. But what we call "Wind Chill" includes physiological factors. Your car radiator will cool faster if you point the car into the wind.
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Old 01-12-08, 02:13 PM   #16
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Don't you ever get tired of good weather? Me thinks you need some variety down there.
Yea, how do they ever get anything done around the house with all that good weather? I use the winter months to get caught up on projects around the house as I'm out on the bike all other times
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Old 01-12-08, 03:26 PM   #17
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Yea, how do they ever get anything done around the house with all that good weather? I use the winter months to get caught up on projects around the house as I'm out on the bike all other times
That's why there a wife and children. But wait, isn't this off topic?
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