The breezy conditions might have had Mike Baker wondering: “Do plants experience ‘wind chill’?”

Wind-blown Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) tree

They don’t experience it in the same way that we do, but if you really look at it technically, they can experience a type of wind chill. Wind chill is essentially a reflection of moving air’s ability to draw heat away from an object faster than calm air. So a plant will cool off faster in the wind than if it were calm. But it will only cool down to the ambient air temperature, after that the wind won’t affect it temperature-wise. And since most of the time, plants are close to air temperature, wind chill won’t have much effect unless the temperature is dropping rapidly. Wind will tend to dry out the plant quicker, but that’s another subject.

We humans are endothermic (warm-blooded), so wind will continue to chill us since our body’s temperature stays above the air temperature in most cases. (Once the air temperature approaches our body’s temperature, wind chill doesn’t apply.)  So wind chill affects us more than it does plants.

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