– Wetness and wind

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Why does wind feel colder when I’m wet?

In: 1

Water evaporates and it requires energy, that energy is heat taken for you and you get cooler. This is why we sweat to cool down.

The rate water evaporates depend on the moisture of the air around you. When water evaporates it becomes moisture in the air and the rate of evaporation drops. If the moist air is replaced by drier air like by wind the evaporation rate is higher compared with no wind.

When wind blows across dry skin, some of the body heat gets transferred into the air/wind as it blows. You may get goose bumps when this happens as the body is making the airs stand up trying to trap some air to prevent it from moving so much and taking heat away.

When the skin is wet, the water will absorb heat from the body faster than the air alone but will also evaporate off the skin taking that heat with it. Things like alcohol evaporate faster than water so will feel even colder on the skin.

This phenomenon is known as evaporative cooling and it’s used by many animals to lower the temperature of their bodies or nests, it’s really effective. When water evaporates from a surface, it carries with it some energy in the form of heat, making said surface cooler. Wind makes water evaporate faster, further accelerating the process.