With above-average temperatures for this time of year, Kentucky’s livestock are dealing with heat stress conditions earlier than they usually do.

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture meteorologist Tom Priddy said high temperatures are averaging about 90 degrees across the state this week.

“These high temperatures were about 10 degrees warmer than the previous week’s highs,” he said. “Combined with the moist air from the Gulf of Mexico Kentucky has been experiencing this spring, the end result has been hot and muggy conditions. This has caused livestock heat stress to reach the danger category earlier in the year than normal.”

The state has yet to get into an emergency level of livestock heat stress on a wide scale. However, some isolated areas in the west, where the heat has been the greatest, have been close.

Priddy said hotter conditions this early in summer are not unheard of — even last year the state experienced abnormally warm temperatures to end May and then had an above-normal June.

“This June, just like last, is expected to stay above normal temperature-wise,” Priddy said. “The short-term outlooks agree with this, showing warmer-than-normal conditions for next week to continue all across the Southeastern United States.”

Priddy said the long-term outlook for the end of June through August is the complete opposite with predicted normal temperatures. He bases this prediction on El Niño-like conditions he expects to occur over the summer months, which some models forecast.