The winter of 2019 / 2020 will most likely go down in the records books as one of the most memorable seasons in recent history. Just think, we are only into the first part of November and we have already seen several winter weather events as well as bitterly cold temperatures. When you are getting ready to step outside, are you properly preparing for the weather? I know you're thinking "of course I can dress myself for cold weather," but are you actually protecting yourself the best ways possible?

One of the things we have to contend with here in the Texas panhandle that other spots across the country don't deal with as often is our wind. During the winter months, the cold air mixed with a strong, cold wind produces a wind chill factor that makes it feel much colder than it actually is. You may hear your favorite meteorologist say the temperature is 32, but it feels more like 18 degrees. That is the wind chill.

Credit: National Weather Service

When winds are calm, our bodies radiate heat, creating a layer of warmth between our skins and the air around us. When the wind blows, the fast moving air breaks up that warm layer. It causes us to lose heat quicker and that can lead to hypothermia.

Credit: National Weather Service

When your body temperature sinks below 96°F, you have hypothermia, a serious health hazard that occurs when body temperature is lowered too much. Get medical attention immediately. Move the victim inside to a heated location and begin warming the center of the body first. If you feel cold and sluggish, or are having trouble thinking clearly, see your doctor immediately or go to the nearest emergency room. It's better to be overly cautious than to die of a disorder that doesn't have to be deadly. Hypothermia can be avoided, however, but taking the steps to prepare for the bitter cold.

Credit: National Weather Service

Remember to dress for the outdoors even if you don't plan on being outside for more than a few moments. You never know, for instance, when you may have car trouble and find yourself need to seek help. Or being stranded during a storm where it could take a while for you to be rescued from your vehicle. In extreme cold you need to have a warm hat, 3 layers of clothing that include 1 insulating layer, gloves, 2 layers of pants, waterproof boots, a wind breaking outer jacket layer, and something to cover your face. While this might seem like common sense, you would be shocked how many people don't prepare for the cold. Our weather can change quickly in the Texas panhandle, are you weather ready?