View Full Version : Arena Footing Freezing - Real Temperature or Windchill

Dec. 5, 2010, 07:10 PM
Hello Wise Cothers,

I know you know the answer to this question that stumps me every winter:

does the arean footing freeze according to the actual temperature or according to the windchill temperature?

The usual situation is that the actual temperature is above freezing but the windchill is below freezing. I always thought that the ground froze according the real temperature, and that windchill was only how cold it felt to us. Is this true?


Dec. 5, 2010, 07:37 PM
Definition of wind chill factor: The temperature of windless air that would have the same effect on exposed human skin as a given combination of wind speed and air temperature.

Wind chill can be well below freezing even when the air itself isn't....ie....still air temperature is 35 above freezing. Add 40 mph wind and the effect on the skin would be the same as still air at 20 degrees. It doesn't have any effect on non-living tissue so your arena footing will freeze only when the air temperature itself goes below freezing (and may not freeze then as the ground retains some heat from daytime heating or environment such as being indoors....and freezing will occur less noticably if the footing is dry).

Here's a link to a chart along with the time necessary for frostbite to occur at various windchills....and a formula for calculating. These temperatures will effect your horse as well as you.