When we took these photos it was miserably cold and windy. I think it shows that I am freezing despite of long underwear, my pink cashmere sweater and my cotton Michael Kors navy striped cardigan. The white leather pants serve to protect me from the slight wind.
Well, I have to admit being a Fairbanksan, any wind over 5mph is considered as ugly. This value is the highest monthly mean wind speed we get. Only gusts of thunderstorms, the Tanana Valley wind, or storms entering Alaska from the Bering Sea bring high wind speeds and we then bundle up. We prefer -40F (-40C) over a windy day at negative temperatures in the single digits (-22.8C to -18.3C).
Wind makes cold air feel even colder due to the wind chill because the body looses heat faster due to the wind. The loss of heat at the surface of any body through convection is a function of wind speed above that surface. Recall your mother, grandmother, aunt, or who knows who, blew over the surface of your hot chocolate to cool it when you were a kid, and complained about the chocolate being too hot. The physics behind it is that the warm surface heats the cold air adjacent to it. An insulating boundary layer of warm air builds up above the surface. When it is windy, the wind blows that insulating air layer away. Thus, the body looses heat faster.
To protect from the wind chill I wore my insulating skirt over my leather pants. You see this look very often in Alaska: Skirt over jeans/pants.
Photos: G. Kramm (2014)
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