2023 could be one of the hottest years on record; how to keep livestock cool

If you have been thinking it feels hotter this year, you are not just imagining it.

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says it is shaping up to be one of the hottest on record, and not just here in the United States. He points to El Nino, which is causing the water to get warmer across parts of the Pacific Ocean. As the water heats up, it warms the atmosphere. Rippey explains how it has progressed this season.

“Heat has been expansive this warm season across the northern hemisphere. It got an early start in the higher latitudes, and now we’ve seen extreme heat waves across Canada, leading to wildfires and more recently across Europe. We’ve also seen extreme heat in the southern United States. We got an early start to summer in the deep south; the hottest June on record in Gulf Coast communities like Del Rio, Texas, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And now for July, it has gotten worse in the southern United States, a whole host of cities with long-term records on track to set their warmest July on record, stretching all the way from Phoenix, Arizona to Key West and Miami, Florida.”

As temperatures stay hot across the United States, livestock are feeling the impact. Large animal veterinarians say it is important to think about water reserves because some supplies can run out on extremely hot days.

“A lot of times we don’t have a lot of reserve capacity and some of those tanks and systems. If something happens with the water supply and it, you know, shuts off or whatever happens there, then they can run out of water fairly quickly. Then when it gets really warm, that’s a lot more of a concern.”

Official weather data for July will be released by USDA on August 8th.