How used to the cold are Chicagoans? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

How used to the cold are Chicagoans?

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Frigid temperatures are the new norm.

"Once you get over that 30-level it feels like shorts weather, let's go," said Alex Morgan, a Chicagoan.

After several bouts with sub-freezing weather, including back to back Polar Vortexes, Peter Doran says the 20s are the new 30s.

"As the season wears on we just get used to it and we adapt," said Peter Doran, a professor at The University of Illinois at Chicago.

Despite the dipping temperatures it feels warmer to most.

"Definitely there is an adaptation. You get smart about it, about how you pick your clothing and I wear layers all the time," said Doran.

But beyond the layers, Doran says our bodies make an adjustment as well.

Doran has conducted research in the Arctic and Antarctica on the cold weather's impact on people and he's not alone. Dr. Lawrence Zachary has also conducted research and works at the Cold Hand Clinic at the University of Chicago Medicine Center.

"The body reacclimatizes to whether temperatures are hot or colder so it's not dangerous but it's still dangerous," said Zachary.

Zachary says be careful - certain body parts remain vulnerable in below freezing weather.

"Our hands and our feet. We're trying to keep our core warm so that our heart keeps pumping and our brain keeps working so we tend to starve blood from the hands and feet," said Zachary in an interview with FOX 32's Tisha Lewis.

"Depends on the day really, if it's snowing, if the sun is out... I know with no clouds, it's the coldest with all the wind, the wind is a huge factor," said Morgan.

And potentially dangerous despite the faux feeling of warmth.

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