Mittens versus gloves

In this Weather Wednesday we put mittens and gloves to the temperature test.


FARGO - It may be march but that doesn't mean Spring has sprung and we definitely need to keep the winter gear around for awhile longer.

The three typically coldest months of the year are behind us but Spring isn’t exactly in the air: March is the fourth coldest month on average. Chicks aren’t hatching, bunnies aren’t back yet and as much as we’d like to will the warmer air into existence we still have chilly days and nights ahead.

Mittens are the best way to keep your fingers from freezing because they are keeping your body heat all in one place, your fingers share the warmth and radiate the heat within the mitten.

Gloves have more surface area, allowing increased dexterity but separating your fingers isolates them from the rest of your body and allows more heat to be lost.

Putting that theory to the test: the air temperature was around 15 degrees for roughly 15 minutes. In the experiment there was a glove on one hand and a mitten on the other. Using an infrared thermometer the temperatures of the gloves measured right around 53 degrees. The mitten hand read a temperature of 67 degrees, much warmer compared to the gloves.


Of course any type of layer is better than none and the more layers you have, the warmer you’ll be. Huddling together for warmth is also what you’ll see animal babies doing once spring gets going.

Jesse Ritka is a StormTracker meteorologist and holds the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal of approval.

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