Human heat index and wind chill models do not accurately reflect heat and cold stress on cattle. Indexes have been developed for cattle to help farmers and ranchers better monitor cattle environmental conditions. These indexes help cattle producers adjust management practices to minimize heat and cold stress impact on animal productivity and health.
The Oklahoma Mesonet weather data has been used for an Oklahoma Cattle Comfort Advisor to monitor cattle heat and cold stress in Oklahoma. A new National Cattle Comfort Advisor is now online at http://cattlecomfort.mesonet.org. Both the current Oklahoma and National Cattle Comfort Advisor products are based on the Comprehensive Climate Index developed by T.L. Mader, L.J. Johnson, and J.B. Gaughan (Journal of Animal Science, 88:2153-2165). National Cattle Comfort Advisor maps are produced hourly from National Weather Service METAR data and three calculated solar radiation levels, 100%, 60%, and 20%.