Assessment of health risk by wind chill factor in the Krasnoyarsk Krai
Wind affects functional state and health of human beings. Physical activity mitigates the risk of hypothermia, but not the discomfort felt in cold winds. Moreover, there appears a risk of body cooling and frostbite. This study aimed to assess the risk to health of a human being associated with the wind chill factor index in the various climatic zones of a Russian region. The calculation relied on the mean monthly daily temperature and wind speed values, minimum temperature and maximum wind values registered in the subarctic and continental climate zones during the two climatological normals determination observation periods, 19611990 (second period) and 1991–2020 (third period). In the third period, a significant decrease in wind strength was registered in the subarctic (8 months) and temperate continental (9 months) climates. The mean monthly temperatures increased in April by 3.5 °C (p = 0.006), April–June by 4.05 °C (p = 0.001) and 3.9 °C (p = 0.001). The maximum wind in the subarctic climate did not change, in the temperate continental zone it decreased within 9 months; the minimum temperature increased in 4 and 1 months. In the subarctic zone, the mean temperature and wind values made the ambient conditions uncomfortable for 6 months (versus 7), with one characterized as "extremely cold"; the cold exposure risk decreased during the "very cold" period; in the temperate climate zone, the potentially uncomfortable conditions period lasted for 4 months (versus 6). With wind at the maximum and temperature at the minimum, in the subarctic climate, the weather remained severe for 8 months a year in each of the determination periods ("uncomfortable, chilly" — 2 months, "cold, skin surface hypothermia" — 1 month, "extremely cold, possible hypothermia of the exposed parts of the body in 10 minutes" — 5 months); in the temperate continental climate zone, it was severe for 5 months of each year ("uncomfortable, chilly" — 2 months, "cold, skin surface hypothermia" — 3 month).
Keywords: wind chill factor, subarctic, continental climate, Krasnoyarsk Krai, health risk