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Thread: Wind Chill

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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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    20 mph out and 0 mph on the return.

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    No doubt, the wind direction will change!

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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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    Who are you kidding? Tom wouldn't ever go out in conditions like that!
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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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    10 degrees F blows no matter which way the wind is coming from!

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    Quote 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.
    Last edited by Monoborracho; 01-12-08 at 08:06 AM.
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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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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    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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    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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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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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorad View Post
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by wmodavis View Post
    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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    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    Depends on whether he wears shoe covers and helmet cover or not...
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

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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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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverly View Post
    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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