Skin temperature measurements of the face have shown that the cheek cools faster than the nose and the nose faster than the forehead. The cooling effect of wind is maximum at wind speeds between 4.5 and 6.7 m/s. Cold winds produce significant bradycardia, which is, however, much more pronounced during the expiratory phase of respiration. A significant correlation was noted between cooling of face and the reflex bradycardia observed. Similarly, a very significant correlation was noted between drop in skin temperature and subjective evaluation of cold discomfort. Consequently, the drop in skin temperature, reflex bradycardia, and subjective evaluation are parameters which are directly affected by cold wind and can be used as adequate indicators of the degree of discomfort. When comparing the present results with the windchill index, it was found that in the zone described as “dangerously cold” the index fits well with the physiological measurements. In the zone described as “bitterly cold,” the index by comparison with actual skin temperature measurements and subjective evaluation underestimates the cooling effects of combined temperature and wind by approximately 10 degrees C.
- Copyright © 1976 the American Physiological Society