Skip Navigation Link 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage
Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services

Wind Chill Chart

In 2001, NWS implemented an updated Windchill Temperature (WCT) index. The change improves upon the former WCT Index used by the NWS and the Meteorological Services of Canada, which was based on the 1945 Siple and Passel Index.

In the fall of 2000, the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research (OFCM) formed a group consisting of several Federal agencies, MSC, the academic community (Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI), University of Delaware and University of Missouri), and the International Society of Biometeorology to evaluate and improve the wind chill formula. The group, chaired by the NWS, is called the Joint Action Group for temperature Indices (JAG/TI). JAG/TI's goal is to upgrade and standardize the index for temperature extremes internationally (e.g. Windchill Index).

The current formula uses advances in science, technology, and computer modeling to provide a more accurate, understandable, and useful formula for calculating the dangers from winter winds and freezing temperatures.

Wind Chill Temperature Comparison (Old vs. New)Clinical trials were conducted at the Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine in Toronto, Canada, and the trial results were used to improve the accuracy of the new formula and determine frostbite threshold values.

Standardization of the WCT Index among the meteorological community provides an accurate and consistent measure to ensure public safety. The new wind chill formula is now being used in Canada and the United States.

Specifically, the new WCT index:

  • Calculates wind speed at an average height of five feet (typical height of an adult human face) based on readings from the national standard height of 33 feet (typical height of an anemometer)
  • Is based on a human face model
  • Incorporates modern heat transfer theory (heat loss from the body to its surroundings, during cold and breezy/windy days)
  • Lowers the calm wind threshold to 3 mph
  • Uses a consistent standard for skin tissue resistance
  • Assumes no impact from the sun (i.e., clear night sky).

Public Notification of New Windchill Temperature Index

 Windchill Calculator:

Air Temperature  
Wind Speed 

Wind Chill Temperature:

Note: Windchill Temperature is only defined for temperatures at or below 50 degrees F and wind speeds above 3 mph. Bright sunshine may increase the wind chill temperature by 10 to 18 degrees F.

NOAA, National Weather Service
Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services
1325 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Questions? Comments?

Privacy Policy
About Us
Career Opportunities
Last Updated: February 25, 2008