About the Comfort Index

Mader and co-workers at the University of Nebraska developed the Comprehensive Comfort Index to incorporate both extremes of hot and cold into one index value. It is unique in that it includes, in addition to air temperature and relative humidity, effects of wind speed and solar radiation. Development and validation of the index used data from beef and dairy cattle.

Actual animal response to temperature stress will be dependent on a number of factors not accounted for in the index. Those include, but aren’t limited to, age, hair coat (winter vs summer; wet vs dry), health, body condition, micro-environment and acclimatization.

Heat and cold stress level categories for the cattle comfort advisor:
Comfort level Map indicator Index Value, ⁰F General Interpretation
Heat Danger > 105 Animal deaths may exceed 5%
Heat Caution 85 to 105 Decreased production, 20% or more
Reduced conception , as low as 0%
Comfortable 15 to 85
Cold Caution -20 to 15 18 to 36% increase in dry matter intake
Cold Danger < -20

Adapted from: https://www.mesonet.org/images/site/Using%20the%20Mesonet%20Cattle%20Comfort%20Advisor(1).pdf