CHAMPAIGN, Ill., 8/18/20: Soil temperatures have returned to near normal after a cool start in August, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey.
Cooler weather in the first week of August caused soil temperatures measured at 4 inches under bare soil to fall to an average of 75 degrees for the state, 7 degrees lower than in 2019 and 2 degrees below the long-term historical average. Daily lows were in the low to mid-60s as highs reached into the 90s.
Soil temperatures rose rapidly as warmer weather returned to the state. On August 15, temperatures at 4 inches under bare soil averaged 80 degrees, only 1 degree lower than last year.
Soil moisture has declined in the first half of August. Moisture levels at 4 inches fell 12 percent to a state average of 0.25 water fraction by volume, above the wilting point for most of the soils monitored. Only northern Illinois saw an increase as levels rose 11 percent.
Moisture levels also declined at depths from 8 to 20 inches while remaining high at depths of 39 inches and greater.
Media Contact: Jennie Atkins, Ph.D. - (217) 333-4966, firstname.lastname@example.org