Kite Feedlot Team
October 3, 2023
Tips for the Summer
It is common to use average conditions to help understand the meteorological forecasts. We hear it on the news every day: “The temperature for today is predicted to be 35°C, five degrees above average for this time of year”.
So what is the climatological average and how can it be calculated for the HLI?
The climatological average is the average conditions experienced for a particular time of year based on at least 30 years of data. It can be presented as the average maximum for a day, average minimum or daily average.
The data set we have developed for the risk assessment process (RAP) allows us to determine the climatological average conditions for each feedlot location. We have calculated the HLI for every hour of the day for all feedlot locations for a 30-year period. That’s over a quarter of a million data points for each site!
The data has been analysed to determine a HLI climate profile for each site.
For now, you can view the HLI climate average by selecting the “Graph” option. The HLI climatological average is shown on the HLI graph in GREEN (note the solid red line is the observations from the weather station and the red dotted line is the forecast).
Why do I want to know?
By comparing the forecast HLI with the climatological average you can better understand your risk. It tells you how much the HLI forecast is above or below average for that time of year. This can be helpful to identify periods of higher risk (i.e. HLI above average, or very much above average). For example, much of Eastern Australia experienced an early start to hot weather during September when the HLI was 10-20 units above the long-term average. The silver lining to the hot spring is that cattle will now be more acclimatised to the heat before the sustained conditions begin in summer!
As you know, the HLI alone can’t tell you what your heat load risk is, you need to look at the AHLU for that. However, it does let you know if the environmental heat loading is higher than average.
The BOM have issued a heatwave warning but I have not received any Kite alerts! We discuss how this information is presented on Kite.
As you head into summer it is good to remind yourself of the types of weather events that can cause heat load problems. Read more.
With the peak storm period on us, it is good to reassess the issues with wet pens.
Humidity in the pens can be significantly higher than outside the pens, so your weather station may not indicate the true heat load exposure of your animals, nor will the forecast. Read more about what you can do to manage this risk.