The Central and Southern Plains and as well as the Mid and Lower Mississippi River Valley continue to bake in the heat. Temperatures in the 90’s with dew points in the middle 60’s to lower 70’s are creating uncomfortable conditions. The USDA –ARS Livestock Heat Stress indicate Emergency Livestock Heat Stress Levels.


Weather Overview

A nearly stagnate atmospheric pattern is causing a llow-pressure trough in the middle levels of the atmosphere to remain situated in the West and a high-pressure ridge to be parked over the Central and Eastern  US. This ridge is causing the late season heat dome to remain in place. Today’s high temperatures will again climb into the 80’s and 90’s for a good part of the central and eastern US.

high temperatures for Thursday September 21, 2017


Unfortunately, the pattern will not start to shift until next week when that western trough finally starts to move east.


Impact to Livestock

This several day stretch of fall heat is leading to higher stress levels to livestock.  The USDA –ARS Livestock Heat Stress is showing Dangerous to Emergency levels for Today and Friday.  

USDA ARS heat stress forecast September 21 2017


Since this is Day 4/5 of the heat, livestock are becoming less tolerant. Thankfully, we are seeing a little reprieve at night with lows in the upper 60’s to lower 70’s.  When we have lows in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s, animals and humans are even more susceptible to heat stress and stroke.   

For our GrowCaster, WxAction Livestock Heat Stress – Risk Alert, we are using the USDA-ARS equation. Below is a view of the Livestock Heat Stress alert for just South of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  So this location is not in the worst area.  


GrowCaster WxAction Alert Livestock heat stress


Unlike the USDA-ARS website, we break down the alert by the hour, so you know exactly when you will see the dangerous conditions develop. In addition, our forecast is specifically for your farm and field location. So we take the pain out of trying to interpolate via a map. The Livestock Heat Stress caution level correlates to the ARS Alert level, Critical to the Danger level and Extreme to the Emergency Level.


The Livestock Heat Stress WxAction Alert is part of our GrowCaster 14-day free trial with the livestock interest category. You can sign up today to be able to monitor the levels for your location for the next several days and see how this and our other WxAction alerts work.


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How is the USDA – ARS Livestock Heat Stress different from Heat Index

The USDA ARS equation goes beyond evaluating the heat index, which looks at the temperature and Relative Humidity. It also takes into account solar radiation or amount of cloud cover as well as wind speeds. The information was then correlated to impact to livestock breathing.  The ARS website for more details about the Livestock heat stress equation.


Recommendations for Livestock Owners

If you own Livestock, we encourage you to ensure they have fresh drinking water and shade. If you have a dairy or feedlot and have fans and misters, check that they are operating.

For more information about recognizing the signs see ARS write-up on signs of heat stress


Start putting the weather to work for YOU by knowing when the weather conditions will impact your Ranching and farming operations. Start your Growcaster free trial today to have your customized weather forecast delivered to your Inbox Daily.

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The team at WxIntegrations will continue to provide relevant information and resources to help you better understand and prepare by incorporating weather impacts into your planning and response. 

Our GrowCasterTM tool is the essential weather decision tool for farmers and ranchers that is tailored to their specific operations. With GrowCasterTM, farmers and ranchers can leverage the weather forecast opportunities and risks to improve their bottom line. 


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