MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Each Friday, we answer some of our viewers’ burning questions. This week, John Lauritsen finds the best way to warm up your car in the winter, some unfamiliar faces at the State of the Union address, and how meteorologists measure wind chill.
As the weather starts to drop this weekend, Sarah wants to know: How long should you let your car warm up in the winter?
Mechanics say anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes is ideal. Letting your car idle for 15 minutes or more is just wasting gas.
Car guy Gordy Leach has a trick during extremely cold days: After your car is warmed up, put it in reverse or drive, and then keep your foot on the brake for 20 seconds before moving. This helps the transmission warm up too and cuts down on wear and tear.
Melissa wants to know: Who are the people sitting right in front of the president during the State of the Union?
When the President addresses the union, he always does it in the House of Representatives chambers at the U.S. Capitol. The people sitting directly in front of the president are always there when the House is in session.
Political analyst Larry Jacobs says they are the “staff to the House floor.” They distribute lawmakers’ bills, running them to where they need to be, and they get a front row seat for the President’s biggest speeches.
Rick wants to know: how do meteorologists measure wind chill?
It sounds like such a simple thing to calculate, but the formula is very complex:
35.74 + 0.6215T – 35.75 (V 0.16) + ).4275T (V 0.16)
T= Air Temperature
V= Wind Speed
Simply put, wind chill is comparing air temperature and wind speed. It’s used to help us understand how the wind feels on our skin.
The National Weather Service has a wind chill calculator you can use on its website.
Bright sunshine can increase wind chill temperatures by 10 to 18 degrees.