Rancher Discussion Leads to Weather Service Advisory


With the thermometer dropping and winds often kicking the windchill temperatures well below freezing, this time of year is ever busy with varying weather watches, warnings, and advisories.  One of the more recently developed advisories, however, started as a conversation with a well-known Montana rancher.
“It was years ago with Lynn Cornwell on a plane,” said Tanja Fransen in a recent Northern Ag Network interview.  Fransen, who works for the National Weather Service in Glasgow, Montana, was discussing the “Cold Advisory for Newborn Livestock” (CANL) that she helped to create after that conversation with the area rancher.
Several years later, this significant advisory has been established and nine National Weather Services offices around the Western Plains have adopted it into their daily forecasting methods.
“It was intended for the birthing season when you actually have an animal within 24 hours of birth,” Fransen told Haylie Shipp.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the target is livestock that are less than 24 hours old because these animals are least able to regulate their body temperature and therefore most susceptible to the cold. Also, after several hours, producers may have had a chance to get to the animal, dry it off, and provide shelter as needed.
The interesting thing about this advisory is that sometimes it might be the only advisory out there.  There may not be enough snow or cold enough temperatures to put out a warning.  However, when you combine those factors with others such as humidity or cloud cover, a newborn animal could become vulnerable enough to have health issues in the future or possibly perish.
The following are the current criteria for CANL:

NO ADVISORY: Wind Chill above 41 degrees

SLIGHT: Wind Chill less than 41 degrees for 2 or more hours

MILD: Wind Chill less than 32 degrees for 2 or more hours

MODERATE: Wind Chill less than 0 degrees for 2 or more hours or wind chill less than 36 degrees for 2 or more hours and .02” precipitation.

SEVERE: Wind Chill of -9 degrees or colder for two or more hours, or wind chill of less than 34 degrees for 2 or more hours and .05” of precipitation

EXTREME: Wind Chill of -18 or colder for two or more hours, or wind chill less than 32 degrees for 2 or more hours and .1” of precipitation


Other factors can also sway the severity of the advisory.  CLICK HERE for more information.  And, if you hear the words “Cold Advisory for Newborn Livestock” on the air, make sure to be extra protective of the critters hitting the ground.



© Haylie Shipp 2015

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